Market Development/Site Location

Dec. 21, 2004

With the U.S. unemployment rate at a 29-year low, the tight job market has forced companies to rethink their hiring and retention strategies. A report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors contends that 80% of the 110 surveyed cities don't have enough highly skilled workers, and 42% report shortages of unskilled workers. Without an adequate labor pool, some cities are having difficulty attracting new businesses or keeping the ones they have. Local governments are not the only ones struggling with the tight job market. Manufacturing firms are having to fight harder to keep and find new employees. Of company leaders surveyed for IndustryWeek's 1999 CEO Survey, 23% cite hiring good people, keeping the right people, and assembling the right team as major concerns. To keep their associates happy and attract new talent, many traditional manufacturers are following the lead of IT companies and enhancing traditional compensation and benefit packages with nontraditional benefits such as day care, tuition reimbursement, subsidized cafeterias, and financial counseling. At some companies, concern for employees' well-being goes right to the top. Jerre L. Stead, chairman of Ingram Micro Inc., a California-based wholesale distributor of computer products, lists "Head Coach" on his business card and provides a 24-hour 800 number to his 12,000 employees so he can personally address their concerns and suggestions. Top 50 U.S. World-Class Communities U.S. Economic Development Agencies Global Economic Development Organizations World Trade Centers National Laboratories U.S. Technology Transfer Centers

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