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 Feature Industry Articles 
Tuesday, July 22 2014
Building Your Future Workforce
By Chris Engle, Vice President, Avalanche Consulting, Inc.

Companies and community alike continuously ask the question, “How can I build my best workforce for the future?”  In fact, according to our latest survey of 200 economic development agencies in the U.S., “skilled workforce availability” was the corporate site selection factor whose importance has grown the most in recent years.  Simply put, our ability to educate and train our workforce will be the defining competitiveness factor of the 21st century for companies and communities.

In just the last year, “workforce readiness” has grown in awareness from government and education wonks to the mass media who frequently profile the plight of the low-skilled, long-term unemployed or the debt-laden students who graduate with degrees that don’t land them jobs. State and local governments are now joining federal agencies in their call for greater “workforce alignment”, i.e. ensuring that worker training and student education better prepares them for employment.  Often, workforce agencies point to a lack of good information on skills and occupational demand by industry – information that is crucial to making a better career and education choices.  In fact, many states have passed legislation requiring their local workforce agencies and sometimes colleges to provide better career information to students and workers.  No longer will “What Color Is Your Parachute?” career planning techniques around life goals and personality profiles suffice.  How many of us had the information we needed at an early age to make a thoughtful career choice?
Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 03:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014
By David Frentzel, APL Logistics

Operating a warehousing network has always posed its share of challenges. But it has never been more complicated than it is today, because trends like globalization, reshoring and omnichannel sales have changed the dynamics of how many distribution centers companies need – and where.

As a result, using contract warehouses has become an increasingly attractive and common supply chain practice.

The question is, with so many of these facilities operating throughout the world, how do you find the ones that are truly right for your company?

Here are a few do’s or don’ts that can help.
Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 03:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014
Shovel Ready Sites and the Site Certification Process: Importance of Environmental Considerations
By Frank Spano and Susan Riffle

By now, we all know that a shovel-ready, or certified, site provides great benefits to the community in which it is located and for organizations seeking a new location. But, do we fully understand what really is involved in this process? More specifically, what environmental concerns should be considered and why are they relevant?

Below, we outline the six key areas necessary for a comprehensive approach to site certification. Then, we take a deeper look at environmental considerations and their importance, as this area can often be less thoroughly reviewed, but often has a major impact on the property’s ability to be successfully designated as a “shovel-ready – certified site.”
Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 03:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014
Moving Headquarters: Is It Worth the Risk?

By Yannis Gatsiounis

Moving corporate headquarters is a risky business. How many executives will part ways on receiving the news? Is the new home all it’s been cracked up to be in terms of talent availability, operating costs, efficiencies, and supply chain synergies? How will the company fit in locally, with officials and the larger community?
Answers to these and other key questions won’t be fully clear until a move is made.

So why go through with it?
“It’s not a case of traditional business attraction where you simply talk about labor training, availability and costs,” said Angelos Angelou, principal executive officer of AngelouEconomics, an Austin-based corporate site selection and economic development consultancy.

If it were the only consideration, New York would not clock in with a nation-leading 239 corporate headquarters.
Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 03:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014
Status of the High Technology Industry . . . A 2014 Update Characterized by Mergers & Acquisitions
This is the fourth annual article the author has written for Expansion Solutions magazine on the topic of the status of the High Technology Industry. If you have not read the other articles, I would encourage you to visit the archives and to do so. The previous articles are a compilation of observations, facts, current affairs and opinions on the transition of the high technology industry during one of the most tumulus periods of world history. The transformation from being one of the top industries in the world, and the one “everybody wanted,” to an industry that was shedding thousands of jobs and shuttering hundreds of plants globally was very steep.

None of the high tech companies avoided adverse impact from the world recession beginning in 2008. Nor were there any that avoided the significant shift of resources, assets, and talent around the globe. The ensuing turmoil in north Africa and the Middle East turned the Mediterranean Region from a target of growth to a region of avoidance.

Even China felt the impact of the global recession and turmoil as their Gross Domestic Product growth was cut nearly in half. Consumer confidence in the U.S. hit all-time lows, and it showed up in shops and stores across the nation in sharp declines in sales and profits.
Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 02:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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