This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 26, 2002

Community Competitiveness in Hiring

Forward-looking communities understand that their employers need to attract and hold top talent. If those employers cannot meet their employment needs in the community, they may be forced to move to another locale where qualified workers are available. Therefore, wise local leaders will do anything they can to make their community more attractive for employees, as well as employers.

Two criteria that are important to employees with families are healthcare and education. When people consider moving to a new community to accept employment, they look carefully at those two principal features . . . among others. If the hospitals are severely understaffed, there will be questions about what kind of help will be available in cases of medical emergency or serious illness. If the family has school-age children, the availability of quality education will be a major decision point-a potential deal-breaker.

Community leaders are increasingly sensitive to the current-and imminent- competition for employers and employees. The economic health of the area is at stake. The perspective is not all future-focused, either; there is serious concern about the existing condition.

As an example of this trend, The Orange County, Florida, Board of Commissioners developed a program designed to assist in recruiting teachers to the area. Under the county's State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program, Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP)-qualified individuals are eligible for up to $7,500 in down payment assistance toward the purchase of a home. The program, initiated in 2001, will now be applied to help recruit healthcare workers to the Florida county. Nurse practitioners, RNs, licensed practical nurses, nurse technicians/aids, home health nurses, home health aides, paramedics and emergency medical technicians are eligible to apply.

This kind of incentive program will draw more employees with families, workers who may be more stable than young singles who are able to move more easily from job to job and from city to city. The government-supported housing incentive encourages the purchase of homes, which also builds a more stable community.

Expect to see more public-private partnering as local governments, civic leaders, and employers seek ways to attract employers and employees.

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