Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Job Development 101: Land Them, Grow Them

Great story in the Enquirer today on the expansion of DunnhumbyUSA downtown.

This was a company whose initial entrance into Cincinnati I was proud to support when I was at City Council. While it was small at the time, the key was that it created a foundation to grow upon. The company's expansion and growth--more than 500 jobs over the next several years--is a great case study on how we can strategically build our job base.

Lessons learned:

1. Dunnhumby originally came here to be close to its largest client, Kroger. They also serve Procter & Gamble.

Lesson: To many companies and in certain industies, our greatest asset will be proximity to major Fortune 500 companies they serve or hope to serve. We have to use that to our advantage, and work with our Fortune 500 and other major companies to strategically leverage their presence as much as possible.

2. While Dunnhumby started small here (13 people), once they set up the outpost to serve Kroger, they have been growing since.

Lesson: The largest source of job growth comes from expanding the businesses that you already have. So once we've got someone to establish a presence here, we need to do everything we can to help them grow here--understanding their needs, being an easy place to do business, showing them that we appreciate their presence, and being responsive to their expansion needs as they grow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does Ohio, or Hamilton County, have a business liaison to address problems they run into in doing business here?
I observed, and eventually helped solve, a problem where an out of state business had selected a county business as its contractor to provide insurance services. The out of state business spent gobs of money hiring, training, and paying for our citizens to become licensed insurance agents - then, the whole operation was put on hold because the BCI is widely known for being 4 -6 weeks behind schedule in conducting background checks, etc.
I can only imagine this business entity thinking twice before re-contracting with an Ohio company to run its programs.
Fortunately, a state representative's office did some fast work and got things "prioritized" so we didn't lose these good paying jobs and the training and licensing they made possible for a whole lot (40-50)of Ohioians after I advanced the issue to them.
While the big companies deserve our attention - a handful of mid to small companies can make as big of an impact.

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