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 Feature Industry Articles 
Monday, July 29 2019
Locating High Technology Operations

By Dennis J. Donovan, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting (WDGC)

This article addresses location dynamics within the high technology sector. The term high-tech is rather amorphous. Broadly speaking it can apply to any industry wherein advanced technology (such as Industry 4.0) is widely utilized. To provide a pragmatic framework for illuminating site selection strategy and trends we will adopt a more nuanced definition of high technology. Essentially high tech embraces a group of industries characterized by a rapid pace of innovation. These industries typically involve a high concentration of workers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). For purposes of this article high-technology industries include the following:

Posted by: AT 05:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 23 2018
High-Technology/Information Technology Location Dynamics

By Dennis J. Donovan, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting


This article focuses on one large and rapidly-growing segment of high-tech. That is information technology. The sector consists of systems and operation software (including web and mobile), infrastructure support (e.g., network enablement), and customer support (e.g., help desk). 

Before proceeding it should be noted that most industries that traditionally considered high-tech have been locationally active. Such industries include biopharma, medical devices, scientific instruments, micro-electronics, robotics, 3-D manufacturing, aerospace, autonomous vehicles, optics, photonics, telecommunications, and mobile devices. Location activity has been strong across key functions including R&D, manufacturing, and distribution. 

These industries (list is not all-inclusive) have a significant dependence on science and technology innovation, which leads to new or improved products/services. In addition, high-tech industries have an above-average concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workers.

Posted by: AT 01:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 25 2017
Tech Talent: How to Find, Grow, and Retain Your Next-Generation Technology Workforce

By Chris Engle, Vice President, Avalanche Consulting

After nine years of economic expansion this summer, the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 4.3 percent, a 16-year low. Labor shortages throughout many parts of the U.S. are significant and affecting all sectors of the economy. Few industries, however, are more adversely impacted by the tight labor market than the IT sector. Technology workers are among the most difficult-to-find, and IT wage levels among the fastest growing. With digital technologies filtering throughout all aspects of life and business, the lack of available IT workers will ultimately impact a host of other industries. 

Concern over availability of tech workers has spread throughout the U.S., from major markets to small midwestern regions. In a recent survey by Avalanche Consulting, 90 percent of local economic development leaders across the U.S. reported that finding a skilled workforce is the top growing concern for companies. The availability of a talented labor force has become more important than more traditional site selection criteria such as business climate and infrastructure. In fact, we believe that the changing nature of the workforce will be the defining theme of the U.S. economy over the next decade.

Posted by: AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 11 2017
The Data Center Revolution  - Who are Gordon Moore and Robert Dennard, and What Do They Mean to Me?

By Angelos Angelou, CEO, Angelou Economics, and Allan Paddack

“There were five exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days.” Eric Schmidt of Google (2010)

Information has been called the oil of the 21st century, and managing it is big business. There are approximately three million data centers in the U.S. That’s about one for every 100 of its citizens. They contribute, either directly or indirectly, $1 trillion or more, to the economy each year, which is over seven percent of the nation’s GDP. Given the relationship of information to the economy, it is not surprising that nearly every community across the country is actively seeking to attract one to their location. Sure, there are jobs associated with a data center, but as has often been noted by data center critics that there aren’t many direct jobs in an automated facility. The real benefit to a community of a data center is the indirect economic impact of technology investment. That investment attracts other high tech businesses, raises the quality of jobs and wages in the area and, of course, the tax base. And, at the rate of data center expansion seen in the first decade of the 21st century, every city and town could expect to have one by 2020.

Posted by: AT 09:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 26 2016
The Thrilling But Troubled March of American High Tech

By Tim Shea, General Manager of Product Development, Angelou Economics

As far as economic buzz words go, few rival the boundlessness of “High Technology.” Since the New York Times first invoked the term in 1958, those two words have captured the elusive mysteries of science and retained that meaning even as progress turned those mysteries into the mundane. To this day, “High Tech” remains a phrase that conjures dreams of hover boards and talking robots, of flying cars and impossible futures. But what does it really mean? More importantly, what does it mean for today’s economy?

The potential answers to that question are as boundless as the phrase itself. The modern realm of High Tech touches on a diversity of fields, from life-saving medical technology to escapist virtual entertainment and everything in between. What those varied fields do have in common is that they’ve all been immensely important to the country’s economic growth over the past several decades, and will continue to play a significant role for the foreseeable future. 

Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 03 2015
High Technology Location Trends

By Dennis J. Donovan, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting

This article addresses the locational dynamics associated with high technology. While the focus is on the U.S., observations for the global scene are provided as well.  At the outset, a definition of the classic high-tech sector is provided. This includes strategic drivers that shape site searches for high-tech. Next we look at geographic concentrations of high technology. This is followed by a listing of factors of importance to high technology operations.

There is no widely accepted definition of the term. But drawing from several sources, one or a combination of the following would comprise a high-tech entity:

  • Manufacturing process involving either a heavy engineering content or an above average proportion of revenue devoted to R&D
  • R&D labs/centers of excellence
  • Any business that employs an above average proportion of scientists and engineering (including IT)
Posted by: AT 02:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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