professional development

Episode 169: How Can Formal Trainings Boost Communication and Partnership Efforts? | Kenny McDonald, One Columbus
Episode 169: How Can Formal Trainings Boost Communication and Partnership Efforts? | Kenny McDonald, One Columbus 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Most economic development leaders have something to say and are good people to say it within their communities; they’re trusted entities. It’s important to be able to communicate clearly about where you stand and what the focus is.” –Kenny McDonald

Project announcements are happening left and right in most communities, and one thing that can always be stressful is how to handle the media requests surrounding those announcements. How will this new attraction plug into the community culture, what future vision does the company bring with it and how will it impact the region for the better?

Join us for a special relaunch episode today. At the beginning of the year, Carla Sones had the pleasure of picking Kenny McDonald‘s brain about things like interacting with the media in times of increased community sensitivity to all things social responsibility, as well as how the Columbus region structures onboarding for new elected officials to ensure they’re fighting the same good fight for improving quality of life in the community. Their entire conversation is incredibly relevant still 10 months later, and may even carry more meaning today for economic development leaders.

Kenny is being celebrated today as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, recognized for the amazing work he did in 2020 as Chair of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Board of Directors and the impact he continues to have in the Greater Columbus region at the helm of One Columbus. Starting in January 2022, Kenny will be taking on a new challenge as CEO of the Columbus Partnership. He’s a true industry titan with deep insights and thoughtful wisdoms to share. Tune in now to hear more!

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

Episode 168: Why Putting the Mission Ahead of Our Ego Will Create Positive Momentum
Episode 168: Why Putting the Mission Ahead of Our Ego Will Create Positive Momentum 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Maturity is humility. The mature person need not experience the satisfaction of ‘I told you so.'” –Ann Landers

As economic developers, we often have an inkling about the direction our communities need to be moving way before it becomes mainstream knowledge. Sometimes, we spend years attempting to teach community partners about impending developments and needs coming our way, only to be met with resistance, apathy or disinterest. So what happens when push comes to shove?

When we’ve been feeling like a broken record and all of a sudden the community realizes they need to come alongside, it’s all too tempting to say “Hello?! I’ve been saying this for years!” or even “I told you so!” Though in the moment this may feel good, these are not productive nor unifying responses. Then the question becomes, how should we respond in such a moment and why is the way we react imperative?

Faye Davis picks Carla Sones‘ brain on today’s episode about balancing the organizational mission, the future vision, and the personal ego as economic developers continue to fight the good fight of informing their community and staying ahead of trends. Join the two of them as they talk about strategies for responding well, why meeting people in the moment with excitement and energy will capitalize on momentum, and how they can keep the inertia going long term. Hit play now to listen in!

 

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

Episode 167: Five Reasons Why Econ Dev Research Is Critical to Attraction, Retention and Expansion | Emily Jerkins, Birmingham Business Alliance
Episode 167: Five Reasons Why Econ Dev Research Is Critical to Attraction, Retention and Expansion | Emily Jerkins, Birmingham Business Alliance 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The shift facing our community and communities across the nation means economic developers must be agile and cultivate assets, like workforce, policy and brands, like never before. “ –Emily Jerkins

How are research professionals becoming increasingly vital to economic development work? Why is their time and effort foundationally critical to understanding regions and guiding future strategies? And, simultaneously, what makes this work a great starting point for aspiring economic developers?

Join Faye Davis today as she talks with Emily Jerkins, managing partner at the Birmingham Business Alliance. Emily shares five reasons that research fuels better business attraction, retention and expansion, and how organizations can use this discipline to move the needle for all stakeholders. Think along the lines of understanding your community, telling your story, driving change, understanding losses, and improving processes. She shares how curiosity is a driving force for her and why mastering her craft is personally important.

Emily is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, recognized not only for her constant drive to improve in the research field, but also for her ability to bring affinity groups together. Listen in now as she shares a peek behind the research curtain and also dives into how she helped create not one but two professional affinity groups!

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

Episode 166: 4 Ways to Keep Perfectionism from Killing Productivity
Episode 166: 4 Ways to Keep Perfectionism from Killing Productivity 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Don’t let perfection be the enemy of productivity.” –Alice Boyes

We’ve all been there. A big project is due, the pressure is mounting, you have the whole thing basically ready to go but it’s missing a few of those final details. There’s a hard deadline looming for the whole deliverable, and yet you can’t seem to send it off. Why? Because it’s not perfect.

Today, Faye Davis and Carla Sones dive into how a tendency toward perfectionism kills productivity. The two dive into all the unintended consequences from missing the bus on innovation and losing thought leadership, all the way to the impact to leaders’ discernment and collaboration. And sometimes, procrastination masquerades as perfectionism.

So, what can you do to prevent perfectionism from hampering your productivity? Hit the play button now to hear four ways to keep the bus moving forward with intention!

 

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

Episode 165: How Partnership Based Approach Brings Success Because of Collaboration | Taylor Kielty, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Episode 165: How Partnership Based Approach Brings Success Because of Collaboration | Taylor Kielty, Georgia Department of Economic Development 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“When I look at the people that I admire most, that are further along in their career, that’s what I want to be to other people one day.” –Taylor Kielty

Is there an attribute to your project process that makes you stand out? Are you gaining success because of a strategy that you believe in? What if you were told that attribute could be collaboration?

Today, Faye Davis talks with Taylor Kielty about the success that the Georgia Department of Economic Development has and what really drives that success. Taylor tells us it is all about collaboration. At the state level, when a project rolls in, Taylor’s team immediately thinks which partners can be brought in to make the project a win. With their partnership based approach, Georgia continuously gets projects and praise for their process.

Taylor is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. Her belief that we are only as strong as our communities is just one reason why. We have so much wisdom to gain from her perspectives on collaboration, mentoring, and coming together. Tune in today to hear more!

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

Episode 164: Take a Vacation and Reap the Personal and Professional Benefits!
Episode 164: Take a Vacation and Reap the Personal and Professional Benefits! 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation.” –John Battelle

We hear more and more about employee burnout from the companies we work with. So why are so many days of time off going unused?

On this episode, Faye Davis talks with Carla Sones about how to increase productivity by going on a vacation and all of the other benefits from taking a break from work. We all know that taking a vacation doesn’t erase the challenges that are on the table, but stepping away does give us a new perspective. When we take time to get refreshed, we often see an increase in motivation.

We know that taking a vacation can re-energize and realign our personal lives, but the same is true professionally. Taking time to de-stress allows us to bring our full selves to the table when we need to. Tune in today to hear the importance of taking a step back and relaxing!

 

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

Episode 163: Are You Surrounding Yourself With the People You Want to Learn From? | Courtland Robinson, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Episode 163: Are You Surrounding Yourself With the People You Want to Learn From? | Courtland Robinson, Virginia Economic Development Partnership 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I am at my best when I’m bowling with the guardrails down.” –Courtland Robinson

Do you give due credit to the people around you? Are you intentional about the people you surround yourself with professionally? How can you put yourself in a position to learn about the people you want to?

Today, Faye Davis talks with Courtland Robinson, Managing Director of Business Investment at Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Courtland gives us a glimpse into the importance of mentors and being a mentor. We also hear how to actively choose who we want to learn from.

Courtland is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. His passion for economic development and the role we play in our communities is just one reason why. We get to hear passion for the field and joy for coworkers. Tune in today to hear more!

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

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