Scottsdale economic developers have visited nearly 100 companies this past year to learn what the city can do to encourage business growth and success.
What was the big takeaway from all that outreach?
“Workforce,” said Danielle Casey, the city's economic development director. “Everyone is talking about labor and workforce.”
Casey said companies are seeing a need for more workers with three to five years of experience.
“There’s a challenge finding employees with the right licensures as well,” she said.
Such a challenge makes sense in a market with a focus on health care, financial and insurance services, and specialty technology companies.
Scottsdale’s economic developers are listening and learning what the city can do to help companies, particularly with marketing for talent. That’s one of the reasons Casey and her team took their recruiting efforts to Austin’s South by Southwest expo earlier this year.
“We talked to people about relocating to the Valley,” she said. “There are a lot of misperceptions about the area. Some didn’t realize that Scottsdale adjoins Phoenix and (Arizona State University). Many thought all we had was lots of golf. They didn’t know about all the recreation opportunities in the area.”
Casey said many also had no idea of the variety of companies with footprints in Scottsdale and nearby.
The other change in recruiting business she’s seeing is a higher level of talent acquisition and human resources in the site selection process.
“I’m hearing that some selectors are worried about our school systems,” said Casey. “We’re talking up the variety of schools, offerings and opportunities for education when they located here.”
Casey said the city is six months into its strategic plan, but already the effort is showing results. Sharing that with the council was on the agenda this week.
“We’ve started executing the council’s strategy,” she said. “Now’s the time to get their feedback to evaluate what we’ve accomplished and what they may want to modify.”