This is the fifth year that Area Development has undertaken its “Leading Locations” study. The four key categories used in determining state rankings for 2015 — prime work force, economic strength, year-over-year growth, and “recession-busting” attributes — are all critical factors for business leaders to assess when considering a location or expansion. Every employer wants ready, well-qualified workers who are motivated, skilled, and require little training. There are also big benefits in locating in communities with track records of economic growth. These cities/MSAs understand how business works and have the leadership, vision, and creativity to nurture sustainable economic development year after year — and not just in good economic times. Perhaps what is most telling about a city or community is how it handled a bust cycle, or a recession — how did it get through? How did it still create business investment? How did it create jobs? How did it keep looking forward and creating positive results?
Most community leaders would agree that what is most important for economic sustainability is not a one-time, lucky swing at the plate that brings in a big company, but a holistic strategy of economic development with well-thought-out goals. Community and business leaders then collaborate to make the necessary investments to achieve those goals five, 10, or 15 years down the road.View Article