It’s no secret that a skilled workforce is key to a company’s success.
According to Area Development, while the type of workforce, specific skills, and number of workers needed can change with every project, the need for a high-quality, sustainable workforce does not.
So, how can businesses draw in that labor? Location, location, location.
Ever-tightening labor markets are prompting executives to choose locations for their companies that are attractive to tomorrow’s skilled and mobile workforce. For instance, Dallas-Fort Worth is among the 20 best cities to live in the U.S., according to a U.S. News & World Report's Best Places to Live study. The 100 largest metro areas in the country were analyzed based on quality of life and the job market.
Quality of Place Matters
According to Urban Land Magazine, quality-of-place amenities include the area’s urban design, diversity, and livability.
Once considered an afterthought, municipalities are finding that a community’s allure to existing and future residents and workers is a competitive advantage. And just what are those amenities they are investing in to help attract and retain talent? Everything from better parks and bike lanes to arts and cultural venues. Highly rated schools, low crime rates, and affordable housing are also highly regarded.
And while quality of place matters to those of all ages, it especially resonates with those in their mid-20s to early 30s. For this group, convenience to multiple transportation options, sport and cultural amenities, and shopping makes a place more attractive for work and play. In the meantime, adults in their mid-60s and beyond tend to base their contentment on healthcare availability and safety.
Midlothian’s Quality of Place
In fact, Midlothian’s own quality of place is proving to be a boon to attracting and retaining a qualified workforce. With a population of 38,000 and growing, the community is able to retain its small town feel, while still enjoying easy access for commuters to major highways and DFW International Airport.
That was one of the reasons the more than century old Ennis Inc., a leading wholesale print manufacturer, chose to make the community its corporate headquarters home. Previously located in a small building in Ennis, Texas, company representatives were looking to broaden distribution efforts. Realizing they needed to be closer to Dallas for travel purposes, they turned to Midlothian as a solution.
“We chose Midlothian ... because of location — the people being headquartered in Midlothian were still working in Ennis, Texas, and we wanted it to be at a reasonable commute to those people,” said Ron Graham, vice president of Ennis Inc.
When choosing Midlothian for relocation, businesses also consider other quality of place attributes. To attract a strong workforce, businesses must look into highly rated education system, low crime rate, and higher education opportunities.
While Midlothian boasts a centralized location, these qualitative benefits make a huge difference to the potential workforce. For instance, access to Texas State Techncial College (TSTC) serves as a connection to the skilled workforce businesses are looking for as well as offers continuing education for employees seeking to improve professional skills and career advancement opportunities.
Having access to continued education acts as a draw for businesses seeking skilled laborers and employees looking to make the most out of their job opportunity. Attracting these types of workers builds a continuing supply of workers from industrial-minded engineers to business-oriented professionals.
Be smart when looking into relocation options. Consider the experience of the employee and strategically surround your company with a pool of skilled workers.