Once upon a time, companies would consider location as the top reason to expand, relocate or open up their business.
But nowadays, there seems to be a new no. 1 consideration: the available workforce.
Three recent news stories – two from Ian Cull of KXLY and the other in the Spokane Journal of Business – featured companies that either announced expansions to the Spokane area, have already opened up offices here, or have been here a long time. All mentioned the area workforce as a major reason why the Spokane region was a great place for their business.
KXLY: Aerospace company announces new Airway Heights manufacturing plant
We helped in the recruitment of Exotic Metals, the company featured in the story linked above..
KXLY: Tech companies landing in Spokane Valley
In the Journal of Business (paywall), Mitch Lawrence, Next IT Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, “It’s been relatively easy to attract high-tech employees with the number of colleges and universities in the area graduating people with high-tech degrees who want to stay in the area. A lot of tech people in larger markets like the idea of getting out of the big urban areas and into Spokane. We have some of the best geeks in the world living in Spokane.”
With around 80,000 college students within an 80-mile radius of Spokane, the talent pool is ripe. And with a collaborative community – we work alongside our area colleges and universities, municipalities and businesses – the Spokane region is a welcome place for businesses looking to relocate or expand and hire qualified candidates.
Our Education and Workforce department has a number of programs aimed at preparing our future workforce, including Teaching the Teachers, Work 101 and Business AfterSchool (speaking of which, Health Care Week is coming up!). We also lead the daily operations of Spokane STEM to further science, technology, engineering and math innovations for students because those kinds of jobs will need to be filled in the coming years.
Our K-12 Roundtable – a committee of GSI – convenes K-12 and higher education representatives, community representatives and the business community to find ways the sectors can work together. Our Higher Education Leadership Group does the same thing at the higher education level.
If the business and education sectors worked with a wall between the two, it would be difficult to attract businesses to the region. That’s why we bring the two together – and it’s paying off.