You Won the Deal. Now What?

With our recent experiences in the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, most communities were reacting to bad news when it came to economic and workforce development.  But, as the pandemic’s impacts have lessened, many places are starting to get some good news in the form of business growth, improved career and job opportunities, and the attraction of major employers.

We shouldn’t just rest on our laurels when a big new employer comes to town. Instead, we should strive to ensure that this rising tide lifts all boats, and, most importantly, that disadvantaged residents have a good shot at capturing new jobs and benefiting from the new wealth creation that comes with new employers, new career opportunities, and new dynamism coming to the community.

An excellent new report from NC Growth, Economic Development Strategies for Original Equipment Manufacturers in North Carolina, examines these issues in light of North Carolina’s recent success in attracting a host of big manufacturing deals. The report offers a good common-sense set of suggestions for how communities can improve their talent base and develop effective community benefits programs, but the real strength of the analysis comes in case studies examining how other communities, such as Greer, SC and the state of Alabama, are seeking to capitalize on these new opportunities.