Back Directions Newsletter

Skilled Labor/Quality of Life Make Smaller Cities Ideal for New Corporate Model

  • April 13, 2021

According to the results of Area Development’s 35th annual Corporate Survey, the availability of skilled labor is still the number-one priority for corporate executives when looking to locate a new facility or expand an existing one. What has, however, increased dramatically in importance over the 35-year course of the survey is quality of life. This may be responsible for many companies choosing smaller cities with a good quality of life for their next location project rather than larger metro areas.

In fact, quality of life considerations, which are so important in attracting skilled labor, rank higher in this year’s Corporate Survey when compared to universally important factors such as labor costs and occupancy and construction costs. The focus on quality of life is likely to continue as companies reimagine their workplaces and seek to cater to a much more mobile workforce. Quality of life and “quality of place” are seen as an indicator of whether a new location will be a match for a company’s existing corporate culture and values.

Of course, cost factors — which only ranked marginally lower than quality of life in the survey — are still of primary importance. This is especially so as the pandemic has forced companies to cut costs to boost their bottom line. They’re looking closely at the tax impacts and incentives opportunities in new geographies, while keeping an eye on realigning their supply chains to prevent the disruptions experienced during the pandemic. This will help to mitigate risks and cut costs by positioning them closer to their end markets.

The Sioux Falls region is ideally positioned to take advantage of these new trends as our communities do an excellent job of building quality of place while controlling other costs of development. With the creation of Foundation Park and the ability to live in the community of your choice, we are finding these new selling points to be in our favor. Keep up the great work everyone.