Were Shakespeare to advise regions about attracting and retaining talent, he might defer to Polonius in Hamlet, who famously said, “To thine own self be true.” Too many places are trying to represent themselves as something they are not, and millennials, who place high value on authenticity, can detect veneer from afar. We all have seen communities market a booming nightlife or spectacular recreational opportunities…that don’t exist.

It’s easy to understand the temptation to do whatever it takes. With unemployment rates so low, regions are having to attract employees from elsewhere while persuading existing workers to stay. Problem is, slick marketing doesn’t work if it isn’t based on truth. Better to determine what you really are, then build a strategy around those core strengths.

Thomas P. Miller & Associates has guided numerous regions through a process that leaves leaders comfortable in their skin and positioned to build on their unique strengths.

We begin by working alongside employers and regional leaders to identify their values and the assets and characteristics that set them apart.

Drawing from our work at the nexus of education, and economic and workforce development, TPMA brings the pulse of best practices from across the country. Our recommendations incorporate ideas that work everywhere and are tailored to regional and even local strengths. We focus on the best of a region and draw up strategies to get the word out, both to existing employees and those who could be persuaded to relocate for jobs within the region.

In southern Indiana, TPMA recently completed a report for Radius Indiana, an economic development organization spanning eight counties that especially needs more manufacturing employees. It was a first step that recommended digging deep into each member county and coordinating localized campaigns. Ten case studies of best practices were included to help leaders consider possibilities.

In Virginia, TPMA collaborated with three economic development groups to determine the capacity of the many educational institutions in GO Virginia Region 2 to develop talent. Our report pointed out strengths and challenges as well as ideas to make the region more attractive for talent.

We are watching with anticipation to see how Radius Indiana and GO Virginia move forward.

Thomas P. Miller & Associates stands ready to help your region attract and retain a great workforce. To learn more, contact us.