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 Response Page - Poole  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
 Ken Poole  Interview of
05-16-2014.
 

To compete effectively, focus on core competencies and growth of existing businesses

OVERVIEW

In the current global economy, the distribution of businesses and jobs has become more competitive. In response, state and local policymakers often turn to economic development incentives to attract and retain jobs. According to Dr. Ken Poole at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, the current economic environment presents a number of challenges to communities seeking to grow and attract good jobs.

Moving beyond the classic "tax rates versus service quality" discussion, Poole highlighted issues such as workforce development, rapid changes in the global economy, and new infrastructure needs. Poole said these issues also are having an impact on the ability of local and regional economies to grow. He argues that policymakers should focus on fostering the growth of the companies already located in their communities. Poole believes that growing from within is far more effective in creating a large number of jobs than trying to attract outside companies with incentives.

For the complete interview summary see: Poole interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (8.1 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (8.1 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Focus on existing businesses. (6.9 average response) In promoting job growth, much more emphasis should be placed on helping existing businesses rather than attracting new businesses.

4. Focus on core competencies. (8.9 average response) In planning an economic development strategy, states should focus on what makes their regions unique, such as a talented workforce or a natural resource.

5. Replicate Pennsylvania program. (8.6 average response) Minnesota should consider replicating a Pennsylvania program for which multiple businesses identify common workforce needs to achieve economies of scale in the training of workers for all such open positions.

6. Help to attract needed talent. (8.5 average response) If not enough trained talent is available, states or regions should help to attract workers from elsewhere.

7. Relocation incentives not useful. (6.9 average response) Business incentives that simply relocate companies are ineffective, unless a new location is more efficient or the state has made a substantial strategic choice to emphasize an entire industry, not just a single business.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

13%

50%

38%

8

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

13%

50%

38%

8

3. Focus on existing businesses.

13%

0%

13%

50%

25%

8

4. Focus on core competencies.

0%

0%

0%

50%

50%

8

5. Replicate Pennsylvania program.

0%

0%

13%

38%

50%

8

6. Help to attract needed talent.

0%

0%

0%

63%

38%

8

7. Relocation incentives not useful.

13%

0%

25%

25%

38%

8

Individual Responses:

kevin edberg (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)

Phil Kinnunen (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (5)

1. Topic is of value. I believe a combination approach should be applied. Yes, we have iron ore in Minnesota, we grow corn, we have great lakes and tourism, which are all areas for growth and evolution, as well as being a base to make Minnesota look like a place to move a business to. Trying to get someone else's "piece of the pie" in itself spurs job growth for the likes of people like Mr. Poole.

3. Focus on existing businesses. We have to do both. It seems that as an industry or enterprise grows, changes, evolves, there is the potential for new types of needs (job skills, specialized manufacturing) to develop. If our state or local education can't or won't keep up with that need, we must bring them in.

5. Replicate Pennsylvania program. This isn't happening here now? I have had a very good career because 3M, Honeywell and others helped develop a program almost thirty years ago at what was Red Wing Technical School.

6. Help to attract needed talent. Just because we can have long, cold, gray, depressing winters, doesn't mean there aren't people that want to move here. We moved away two times over the years for work, but we also moved back, also for work.

7. Relocation incentives not useful. I don't have enough information to say one way or the other. If the state is spending more than we are getting, then no, it is not a good strategy.

Don Anderson (5) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10)

Dave Broden (7.5) (7.5) (0) (10) (5) (7.5) (0)

1. Topic is of value. A somewhat objective view on regional competitiveness, but perhaps with not a good grasp of how business and industries are evolving and how new businesses arise from small starts. Keeping focused on internal existing strengths has merit but only if it avolds getting locked into business that are evolving away due to changes in what business do and what the service or product is. There must be a link to the solid vision of what is coming and how to prepare for and attract and retain these businesses.

2. Further study warranted. There are many views on this subject and we need to continue to seek multiple views. In particular we need to find someone who has an understanding or thoughts on how to prepare for the next new things or a new age of business and industry. We must stay ahead in both the soft business of services and retail and in the hard product industries.

3. Focus on existing businesses. Business types evolve. Look at the history of Minnesota business/industry: who was here, who is gone, what has replaced and why. There must be a balance and the balance will shift with business operations, markets, and technology.

4. Focus on core competencies. This is a very powerful statement and this takes on greater meaning when companies can operate in a virtual world with multiple distributed resources working together in collaboration to meet objectives.

5. Replicate Pennsylvania program. Minnesota does not need a program to establish a common workforce for multiple industries. While perhaps Minnesota is not as strong as in a few years past in this area [when] the workforce was uniquely transparent to the company in which people worked and there was (and is) great flexibility and movement across industries. Give me 10 minutes and I will show this to be true and why it is a strength built on "the education and educated workforce state." Are we leveraging this message effectively?

6. Help to attract needed talent. The US has a history of workforce mobility, which was weakened during the recession over the past 5 years. The mobility is linked to workers’ moving to locations with the jobs of interest. This can be done by industry and with visible actions by the state.

7. Relocation incentives not useful. In this age I agree that incentives should not be the focus. But neither should be the thought of moving an entire industry. In today’s world the flexibility of the workforce to move between jobs and [the] virtual work place strongly suggests a single unit can do well in any area if [a] workforce with proper flexible skills is available.

Anonymous (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)

You need startups for innovation; otherwise, you are just chewing up existing [business] with more [regulations] and taxes, and thus limiting startups.

Chuck Lutz (7) (8) (8) (9) (8) (9) (5)

Mina Harrigan (10) (10) (8) (7) (10) (6) (10)

Weiming Lu (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)

Always enjoy reading your interview and discussion on critical [issues] facing our State.

Just want to share with you my new book on urban rejuvenation, [focusing] on Lowertown; [it] also touches on Minneapolis, Dallas and China.

Tom Spitznagle (8) (8) (7) (8) (8) (8) (7)

Bright Dornblaser (10) (6) (5) (10) (10) (10) (8)

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (coordinator), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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