Job hubs represent more than just research. When organizations across sectors integrate job hubs into their growth strategies—as outlined below—we can improve our region’s economic competitiveness and increase opportunities for disconnected residents.
- Economic development organizations (EDOs) can overlay available site inventory on top of these job hubs to indicate which job hubs have room for further growth and which are already highly occupied. EDOs can use this information for marketing strategies required to bring companies to these sites, and to help inform where to seek upgrades (transportation infrastructure, utility services) and make improvements to existing buildings in desirable locations so our region can offer more of the kinds of properties businesses are seeking. In job hubs with many smaller, fragmented sites, EDOs can identify opportunities to aggregate land to create the kind of sites most in-demand. For example, in Northeast Ohio, more than 60 percent of site inquiries from businesses, particularly from large businesses looking to move into the region, are for sites 30 acres and larger, yet only 19 percent of our inventory meets this demand, according to analysis by Team NEO. Portions of incentive programs under control of local EDOs can also be allocated to supporting job hub growth.
- Land banks, organizations that purchase and aggregate vacant and underutilized properties in a community, can play a crucial role in assembling the land for the sites that businesses find attractive. The properties in the land banks can be overlaid on top of these maps to help illustrate where site aggregation opportunities might lie.
- Elected officials and other civic administrators can modify land use and zoning policies, shift business attraction and expansion incentives, and leverage local placemaking, design review boards, and economic growth strategies to enhance the regulatory environment and augment the sense of place within regional job hubs.
- Transportation & infrastructure planning organizations can use job hubs as a frame for understanding how new projects, maintenance and repair work align with these key places of strategic regional economic activity, and prioritize investments in highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects accordingly.
- Transit organizations can assess and optimize their routes to provide better service to job hubs and increase the economic mobility of the region’s workforce.
- Workforce development agencies can think about how they connect potential workers to the traded-sector firms in these job hubs, and whether the skills training programs they are offering are aligned with those required by the companies and industries located in nearby growing hubs.
- Educational institutions can also consider whether the internship programs, credential and degree programs, and post-graduation employment services they offer align with the employers and skillsets in demand in nearby regional job hubs.
We will continue to partner with local planning and development agencies to define job hub locations and incorporate civic strategic growth priorities as appropriate.