An Often-Overlooked Workforce Strategy

By Jim Walton, CEO, Brand Acceleration, Inc.

Just the other day, I was part of a group discussion about workforce development and attraction. The community I was visiting is a great example of one having a straight-line path from K12 schools, to post-secondary education, to the workplace. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Programs such as robotics, welding, machining, and plant maintenance are offered. The problem the community faces is that students often leave town after completing their education. This realization caused some outside-the-box thinking by the economic developer and the area leaders.

The economic developer, an avid baseball fan, had an idea to create a talent database to track and encourage students as they move through the education system. Much as a baseball scout tracks talented players, this group offers advice and encouragement to talented students. Many of the kids are offered internships or part-time jobs to enhance their education and help employers track and develop their talent. Some employers even place students in their company training programs to develop and indoctrinate future workers into the company culture.

By the time the students graduate, they have had an ongoing first-name relationship with local employers, and many have a job waiting for them when they graduate.

So, put on your talent scout hats and get to know your budding talent. It’s a great way to develop and retain hometown workers.


Brand Acceleration is an award-winning marketing and public relations firm working nationwide, exclusively in economic and community development marketing.