insight

Episode 162: How Are Efficiency and Sustainability Interweaving with Attraction Work? | Karla Moran, Salt River Project
Episode 162: How Are Efficiency and Sustainability Interweaving with Attraction Work? | Karla Moran, Salt River Project 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“You have to take opportunities as they come to you.” –Karla Moran

Sustainability is gaining momentum all over, and the corporate world is no different. How does that influence attraction work from a utility perspective? What demands do incoming businesses have with regard to renewables? And how does that play out in a place like Arizona where some renewable avenues are plentiful yet others harder to come by?

Join Carla Sones as she chats with Karla Moran, Principal Economic Development Analyst at Salt River Project (SRP). The two of them dive into the way both large and small businesses are supporting SRP’s efforts to become more sustainable and energy efficient in the future, and run down the path of the role renewable sources take on in a desert climate. Karla also explains why Arizona is becoming a hub for driving tech and other hot industries.

Karla is celebrated as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, a well-deserved honor based on her can-do attitude, incredible work ethic and humble leadership style. Her energy and approachable demeanor shine through in every second of this interview. Hit the play button now to hear more from Karla!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 161: How Will Community Preparedness Level Up Economic Development Efforts? | Michael Harvey, Northwest Arkansas Council
Episode 161: How Will Community Preparedness Level Up Economic Development Efforts? | Michael Harvey, Northwest Arkansas Council 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“If you want to target talent, you need to customize what your region’s strengths are for the type of people you’re trying to attract. I firmly believe that the jobs will follow the talent.” –Michael Harvey

Walmart, Tyson Foods, JB Hunt. Number 4 on the “Best Places to Live” list by US News. One of the highest concentration of corporate workers in the US. Some might expect the region behind these stats to be a major metropolitan area, but it’s actually Northwest Arkansas that owns all of these exciting claims to fame. So, what are some of the secrets of this somewhat hidden gem?

Today, Michael Harvey, Chief Operating Officer at the Northwest Arkansas Council, joins Faye Davis to talk shop. Mike dives into the reasons why Northwest Arkansas is an extremely stable employment landscape, as well as how the region has evolved and grown alongside its Fortune 500 headquarters. Michael shares what continues to make his area so attractive to corporate HQs, detailing things like investment in lifestyle amenities and a focus on community development from an economic development angle.

We are celebrating Mike as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers for his creativity in leveling up economic development efforts in his region, especially in the inclusivity and equity space. If you are looking for advice on readying your community for bigger HQ investment and learning about community-based economic development, today’s episode is right up your alley. Tune in now!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 160: Is Your Community Ahead of the Curve in Reskilling Its Labor Force? | Eileen Cai, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance
Episode 160: Is Your Community Ahead of the Curve in Reskilling Its Labor Force? | Eileen Cai, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Training the labor force to meet the future needs is now more important than ever.” –Eileen Cai

Workforce. Chances are that this will come up in industry-related conversation within five minutes. And for good reason; communities everywhere are putting their best and brightest brains together to attempt to solve the labor shortage. So what does this conversation look like for a region that was ahead of the curve in upskilling or reskilling their labor force?

Join Faye Davis for a conversation with Eileen Cai, Vice President of Business Recruitment at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, who shares insight into how Charlotte, NC and its surrounding areas have worked hard and continue to innovate the challenge of attracting talent and ensuring the right skills are available for incoming new industries. She also talks about what industries are heating up in the area and how that plays into the labor force conversation.

Eileen is one of North America’s Top 50 awardees and she’s recognized for the impact she has had on her region by means of the transformational projects she’s brought over the finish line with her tenacity, cooperation and patience. She talks more about her love of people and strategic brain during today’s episode; hit the play button now to hear more from Eileen!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 159: How Can Symbolism Changes Positively Affect Perceptions of a State’s Business Climate? | Mitch Stringer, Cooperative Energy
Episode 159: How Can Symbolism Changes Positively Affect Perceptions of a State’s Business Climate? | Mitch Stringer, Cooperative Energy 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I worked passionately both personally and professionally to support the flag change along with economic developers from across the state. We have a lot of work to do to better our state, but this change was a big step in the right direction and an accomplishment that will be felt for generations to come.” –Mitch Stringer

Can symbolism affect business? Can a long-standing perception of a state be changed? In Mississippi, these questions are generating real-time analysis. Following bipartisan calls for change, 73% of the state’s voters adopted a new flag, prompting a change in the narrative of Mississippi and making a statement that, yes, symbols matter.

Mitch Stringer, Director of Economic Development at Cooperative Energy, talks with Faye Davis about how the change is signaling a desire for Mississippi to keep moving forward and into the future. He dives into how companies’ perceptions are changing and how deal flow to the region is affected, as well as the excitement and joy that emanated from the campaign leading up to the change.

Mitch also shares how his skills have set him up for success in his multifaceted role at Cooperative Energy, and what differences in the work he experiences representing a state-wide territory rather than at the regional level. Mitch is celebrated as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, tune in now to hear exactly why he’s such a dynamite, yet humble as can be, professional!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 158: What Are the Best Practices of Engaging Site Consultants?
Episode 158: What Are the Best Practices of Engaging Site Consultants? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The goal is to build relationships. Both site consultants and economic developers are hungry for relationships with one another, not just learning from one another but really feeling connected.” –Carla Sones

Are you traveling to a site consultant’s market soon? What are the rules of engagement around inviting site consultants for a meal while on their turf? And what about inviting site consultants for a virtual meeting? While the world gravitates back to in-person meetings, keeping virtual touch-points with site consultants many miles away is a great way to have maximum impact with minimal time investment.

Join Carla Sones and Faye Davis as they talk through the etiquette of inviting site consultants while in their city, and dive into the best practices of today’s virtual engagements. Some big takeaways to listen for are how to think through the experience from a site consultant’s perspective and why you should be making sure you’re tailoring time spent together with the consultant’s areas of expertise in mind.

Remember, authentic touches do not necessarily require big investments. Simply bringing on people with great stories or taking a fresh approach to an experience can level-up a Zoom meeting from blah to exceptional. Tune in now to garner more creative ideas and meeting set-ups to level up your next site consultant meeting, whether in-person or virtually!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 157: How Can Creative Partnerships Boost Resources for Small Organizations? | Cathy Knapp, Southwest Michigan First
Episode 157: How Can Creative Partnerships Boost Resources for Small Organizations? | Cathy Knapp, Southwest Michigan First 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Rather than feeling bad about limited resources, the conversation became about forming partnerships to create more opportunities for a rural county.” –Cathy Knapp

Economic development can look vastly different for rural areas; often, the local organization is a one-person shop. Challenges around needing to prioritize time for projects with office management tasks can be huge hurdles for productivity. How then can economic developers in smaller organizations or rural areas partner to increase resources and maximize their impact?

Join Carla Sones as she talks with Cathy Knapp, partner at Southwest Michigan First. Cathy leads the economic development for St. Joseph County, a rural Michigan county on the border with Indiana, and she dives into some of the opportunities that opened up when the county decided to partner with Southwest Michigan First. Cathy also shares insights about educating key business partners about the importance of the work we do so that fundraising efforts continue to be fruitful.

Cathy is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers not only for her tenacity in serving her region, but also for bringing some huge project across the finish line over the last year. Cathy’s joy for economic development is contagious; tune in now to bask in her zest for community and listen to her thoughts on what makes her best days so full of energy!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 156: So, You Want to Host a Fam Tour Next Year?
Episode 156: So, You Want to Host a Fam Tour Next Year? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Site consultants want to come out and build relationships and learn. As you’re planning your visit, it’s really important to think about what the goal is of the tour.” –Carla Sones

So, you’re thinking about inviting some site consultant friends to learn more about your region. Do you know where to start? Have you thought about the planning and invitation timeline? And what about building out an agenda which ensures a productive, impactful and memorable visit for the guests?

Join Carla Sones and Faye Davis as they share lessons learned and best practices for planning a community familiarization tour. The two energetically dive into the big do’s (hint: there are myriad ways to do things right!) and a couple of big don’ts. Carla gives insight on how to approach the planning, what to keep in mind when working with community partners, and reminds us to keep sight of who the focus of the tour is.

In-person events are back and site consultants are traveling again. If your organization is debating whether to invite site consultants to visit your community next year, today’s episode will not only provide insight into the timeline of getting a fam tour off the ground, but will also spark creative ideas to make sure the event is as impactful as possible. Tune in now to learn all about the best practices of hosting site consultants on your home turf!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 155: How Will Your Organization Navigate the Prosperity and Inclusivity Paradigms? | Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Episode 155: How Will Your Organization Navigate the Prosperity and Inclusivity Paradigms? | Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Council 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The regions that can adapt to change by producing the next generation of talent, along with addressing equity and inclusion, will have more balanced and prosperous economies.” –Chris Camacho

Economic recovery is on a fast track, and the greater Phoenix area is running full steam ahead. Having recovered over 80% of the jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic, the Arizona metro has some really exciting things in the pipeline. From the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) mega-deal to the supplier super-cycle it has brought along, the deal flow is hot to trot in Phoenix.

Today, Faye Davis talks with Chris Camacho, president and CEO at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to dive deeper on the role GPEC has played and continues to play in ensuring economic vitality for the region. Chris shares great insights on the need to educate himself on the industries that are clustering in the community. He talks candidly about the opportunities for the greater Phoenix region to continue its path to a more modern economy, and what the prosperity and inclusivity paradigms mean for future work.

Chris is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, and we are thrilled to share our conversation with him to leave you with a shot in the arm for economic development. Tune in now to absorb some of Chris’ passion and energy for the work we do!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 154: How Has Maryland Nurtured Impactful Networks for Effective Economic Development? | Jayson Knott, Office of Business Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce
Episode 154: How Has Maryland Nurtured Impactful Networks for Effective Economic Development? | Jayson Knott, Office of Business Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Having experience in most of the roles I now oversee, I have become a player-coach to my team.” –Jayson Knott

How will your experiences today play into your future? Have you ever tried to reframe your perception of your role today in terms of how the skills you’re learning now will shape the career path of tomorrow? And in today’s world of shorter term loyalty, what makes an employee loyal to their organization?

Today, Faye Davis is joined by Jayson Knott, Senior Director of the Office of Business Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce. Jayson shares the mantra that has guided his leadership throughout his career, and how his long runway of experience helps him be a better mentor and leader for his team.

Jayson is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers for his abilities to forge strong relationships in his community. Tune in now to hear more from him about how Maryland is positioning itself as a hot destination for e-commerce and life sciences, and how his organization and state stay on top of nurturing connections that matter for effective economic development.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 153: Do You Let Your Personal Qualities Drive You Forward Professionally? | Quentin Messer, Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Episode 153: Do You Let Your Personal Qualities Drive You Forward Professionally? | Quentin Messer, Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corporation 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Economic development, at its best, brings people together” –Quentin Messer, Jr.

Do you step into opportunities with enthusiasm and passion? Do you allow your unique attributes to play into your daily leadership and work?

On this episode, Carla Sones talks with Quentin Messer, Jr. about personal qualities that drive you professionally. Quentin lets us in on his personal qualities that he believes help him in his career. Economic growth lets people have aspirations for their future; how do we come along side that amazing mission with eagerness and passion? If we bring energy to our teams, we can allow them to do their work to the ability we know they can preform at.

Quentin is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. We are so excited to have Quentin at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. We get to hear what coaches and leaders Quentin is receiving influence from and why he is listening to them.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai