NLEP Aims For Retention Of Talented Workers

July 24, 2014

By: Alexandria Burris
Via: The Shreveport Times
The North Louisiana Economic Partnership unveiled its five-year strategic plan Wednesday. And while economic development remains a top priority, the organization is aiming to direct more time to the retention of talented and skilled workers and advocating for a unified North Louisiana.
“Aligning your resources behind a single vision for this area, that’s tough business. But that’s part of what NLEP is good for to help make sure everybody is on the same page as we talk about North Louisiana because your biggest competition is South Louisiana right now,” said Tom Stellman, president and CEO of Austin-based TIP Strategies, which helped NLEP develop its plan.
NLEP is a public-private partnership that works to foster economic development initiatives, support existing businesses and bring new jobs to the 14 parishes of North Louisiana. The organization unveiled its plan to the group of investors and public officials at the petroleum club.
The organization also is launching Regional Works 1.5 an investment campaign that it says will help with the implementation of the plan.
Scott Martinez, NLEP president said 2,000 jobs have been announced in North Louisiana this year. While the number is impressive, Martinez said more can be done. “I think we can do better with our road map for what can do with our future,” he said.
NLEP intends to target transportation, industrial machinery, petrochemicals and cyber security, data centers and defense intelligence businesses. The businesses fall into one of three industries NLEP intends to target for North Louisiana. Those industries are: advanced manufacturing, professional services and information technology.
The vision outlined in the plan is a North Louisiana that is a thriving region and a destination for high-quality talent, innovative companies and global industry. Stellman said the goals include fostering economic development, influencing the pipeline of talent and advocating for the region as a unified region.
NLEP must be a voice in making that skills produced in the region align with labor demands.
“Not only is this a pressing need for today it’s going to be pressing need for tomorrow,” Stellman said. “As baby boomers reach retirement and start moving out of the workforce you’ve got to have secession plans for fulfilling their skill sets and their experience.”

Governor De Jongh Signs Contract For Business Development Study For St. Croix

July 17, 2014

Via: Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr.

Photo Credit: "St Croix: Christiansted Harbor" by Erik Larson Via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has signed an agreement with TIP Strategies, Inc., for the development of a Comprehensive Targeted Competitive Industry Study primarily for St. Croix. The scope of the project includes the examination of potential opportunities for recruiting and developing new businesses that promote both job creation and private investment in the territory. The study will be completed and submitted by November 1, 2014.

“Economic development and diversification has been the cornerstone of my administration,” explained the Governor, “and combination of the Great Recession and closing of oil refinery has reinforced our need for a competitive industry report to serve as an industry, and especially as a blueprint for St. Croix’s financial future.” He added, “I am confident that the study commissioned by the Bureau of Economic Research will provide invaluable information and ideas for the expansion of our economic base, with special focus on St. Croix.”
As outlined in the agreement with TIP Strategies, the deliverables include identifying needed technologies for St. Croix and the Virgin Islands, recommended public infrastructure and private capital needed, required supporting industries, industry support strategies to promote private investment in St. Croix and the territory and identify emerging opportunities to enhance existing firms on St. Croix. “The need for this competitive analysis was heightened by the HOVENSA closing and its benefit will be in the diversification of industries that we can attract to especially to St. Croix, while also putting in place support for our existing businesses in capitalizing the opportunities that we identify,” said Wharton Berger, Director of Bureau of Economic Research.
TIP (Theory into Practice) Strategies is a privately-held economic development consulting firm, based in Austin, Texas. The company, which was established in 1995, is dedicated to finding quality solutions for both public and private clients. The compensation for the development of the Comprehensive Targeted Competitive Industry Study is not to exceed $138,268 including travel and administrative expenses.

Research Manager Position

July 1, 2014

TIP Strategies is seeking qualified candidates to oversee the firm’s research activities. This position will play an integral role in supporting TIP’s economic development and workforce consulting practice by performing advanced quantitative and qualitative research on a range of subject areas including economics, demographics, real estate, planning, and public policy. In addition to analytical work, the research manager will contribute to the preparation of high-quality written reports, presentations, and other deliverables intended to communicate findings to clients and stakeholders.
Along with these duties, the successful candidate will spearhead efforts to maintain the firm’s position as a thought leader in the economic development arena by researching trends and preparing engaging visualizations, blog posts, presentations, and other materials to help differentiate the firm’s business development efforts. The position is based in Austin and may require occasional travel.
Specific responsibilities include:

  • Researching, analyzing, and visualizing primary and secondary data
  • Conducting topical research on issues related to economic development
  • Preparing GIS-based maps and other data visualizations using various economic and demographic data sets
  • Designing, managing, and analyzing surveys
  • Summarizing key findings from research and drafting content for client deliverables
  • Communicating and presenting findings to clients

Desired Skills and Experience

  • An understanding of how national/global trends impact economic development at the local/regional level.
  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a highly-related field (e.g., economics, public affairs, planning, economic development, or other related degree) and two-years of relevant experience is required.
  • A demonstrated ability to understand, visualize, and summarize in-depth economic data.
  • Excellent oral, written, and presentation skills.
  • An aptitude for writing both detailed reports and summary presentations.
  • Ability to manage priorities effectively and independently to meet project milestones in a timely manner.
  • Experience using GIS and data visualization software.
  • Proficient use of MS Office Suite—particularly Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Since analytical skills are critical to this position, candidates may be asked to complete an analytical exercise and prepare a summary of findings as part of the interview process.
About TIP Strategies
Established in 1995, TIP Strategies, Inc. has worked with communities throughout the country to develop innovative, publicly supported economic development strategies. Our team members have experience with a variety of clients across the United States, including cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, regional planning organizations, and workforce development boards. While our demographic and industry analyses serve as the foundation for our strategic plans, we pride ourselves on our ability to think creatively—we develop a vision that is supported by the data, but not driven by it. Our approach places a premium on well-informed decision-making, sound planning practices, and a commitment to the future.
Qualified candidates are encouraged to request application information from Lauren at

How To Spark Downtown Development

June 30, 2014

By: Marc Stiles
Via: Puget Sound Business Journal

The performing arts center in downtown Federal Way will have views of Mount Rainier. The City Council voted on June 3 to move ahead with the $32 million project. Illustration by Stephanie Bower

The city of Federal Way [Washington] last week made a $32 million gamble by deciding to move ahead with construction of a performing arts and conference center. In economic development circles, this is known as a “catalyst project.”
With construction of the new facility at the northeast corner of South 316th Street and 20th Avenue South, city leaders hope it will jump start redevelopment of the city center — a long-time goal.
The Business Journal spoke with Jeff Marcell, a new senior partner at economic development company TIP Strategies and former executive of the EDC of Seattle and King County, about such projects, and what makes some successful.
What’s a good example of a catalyst project actually turning a languishing area in to a vibrant one?
One of the most recognized ones is Kent Station in Kent. The city purchased a chemical plant in the middle of its urban core and redeveloped the site with guidance from the private sector. They took advantage of surrounding public sector investments like a new King County Justice Center and Sound Transit’s commuter rail station to fuel traffic to the development and later added facilities for Central Washington University and Green River Community College that brought even more activity to the development.
How can cities ensure projects actually achieve their goals?
Identify clear goals, including job creation, tax revenue generation and changing the preconceived mindset about a community. Cities also should conduct a comprehensive feasibility analysis, and they should lean on private sector expertise for guidance. It is vital to have broad and strong local leadership actively involved. Cost overruns and delays should be expected, and cities should be patient. It may take several years to see results.
And what should cities not do?
They should not review elaborate architectural drawings before conducting the feasibility analysis. Visual presentations generate emotional responses that are not conducive to more objective judgements. Cities also shouldn’t develop plans and move ahead without the opportunity for community buy-in.

Frisco’s Employee Talent Base Receives High Marks In Consulting Firm’s Study

June 4, 2014

By: Renee Hansen
Via: Community Impact Newspaper

Weakness identified as mismatch between city’s jobs, workforce
The release of a new Frisco labor market study shows the city as having a strong talent base of employees that is attracting businesses and impressing employers. The comprehensive analysis was conducted by Austin-based TIP Strategies, an economic development consulting firm.
The report, released May 22, shows there is a highly educated workforce of nearly 500,000 people within a 10-mile radius of Frisco. The workers’ strengths focus around information technology and line up with the industries found in the city’s borders such as telecommunications, software development, and financial and medical services.
Area residents soar above the national average of educational attainment levels with 58.3 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with the national average of 28.5 percent, according to American Community Survey data.
Employers also give the area’s workforce high marks, with 80 percent surveyed saying the workforce is either “good” or “excellent” in computer skills, trainability and employee attitudes.
Given its size, quality of the workforce and ability to draw in workers from throughout the Metroplex, Frisco is the place to be for economic growth, according to TIP.
The Frisco Economic Development Corp. requested the study to gain insight on the labor market of the city, FEDC President James Gandy said.
“It was great for us to have an opportunity to work with [the FEDC],” said TIP Strategies President Tom Stellman. “They are one of the most respected economic development groups in the Metroplex.”
The FEDC has helped facilitate projects to create or retain nearly 12,500 jobs since 2009. With a population of more than 133,000, the report said Frisco is projected to gain 65,000 new working-age adults over the next 15 to 25 years.
Although Frisco houses a large and talented workforce, the study identified that the majority of Frisco workers commute out of the city for their jobs. The market overview reported Frisco residents fill only one in five positions within the city, which means there is a mismatch between employment options and the skills of the area workforce.
“The study has identified a number of things that we intend to work on,” Gandy said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for new companies to move here and utilize the readily available workforce within our city that may currently be commuting outside our city.”
FEDC Director of Marketing Darcy Schroer explained the benefits to keeping Frisco residents within the city borders for employment.
“We have a great quality of life, and we want the people who live here to enjoy that quality of life,” she said. “It opens up a whole different lifestyle when you can work in the city you live in.”

Labor Study Completed for Frisco, Texas: Reveals High Concentration of IT Workers

June 1, 2014

By: Darcy Schroer via TIP Strategies Inc.

Frisco City Hall by Lifestyle Frisco ( via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

TIP Strategies’ analysis of the Frisco-area labor market confirms the city’s advantages with regard to its talent base. Area employers have access to a highly educated workforce of nearly one-half million within a 10-mile radius, including more than twice the national average for key information technology occupations. Access the Frisco Labor Market Profile Executive Summary here [PDF].
AUSTIN, TEXAS, May 21, 2014 – Frisco has an estimated workforce of nearly 500,000 people within a 10-mile supply area. Frisco and the region area are also home to a high concentration of information technology workers, with more than twice the expected number of software developers, computer programmers, systems analysts, and web developers. That’s according to Austin-based TIP Strategies Inc. The consulting firm recently completed a comprehensive analysis of the labor market for Frisco, Texas, a fast-growing community located 25 minutes north of Dallas. The analysis provides a detailed look at the characteristics of the regional workforce and shows the area’s occupational strengths are well-aligned with the industries Frisco targets for recruitment like telecommunications, software development and financial and medical services.
Conducted on behalf of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), the study highlights the region’s advantage with regard to labor, a key criteria in corporate investment decisions. Findings from the labor study point to both labor availability and quality.
In terms of quality, data from the American Community Survey (ACS) suggests the regional workforce is highly educated. According to the ACS, more than one-half of Frisco’s adult population (58.3 percent) holds a bachelor’s degree or higher, a figure well-above the national average of 28.5 percent. In addition, Frisco’s workforce received high marks from local employers surveyed as part of the study, with 80 percent of those respondents rating the workforce as either “good” or “excellent” with regard to computer skills, trainability, and employee attitudes.
James L. Gandy, president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, recognizes the steady stream of talented workforce moving to the Frisco-area has placed the city in an excellent competitive position. “We know skilled workforce is a top concern for employers,” said Gandy. “The data in this labor market study demonstrates Frisco has the talent to support our existing businesses and the new companies we attract.”

The labor force analysis includes data about the flow of workers into and out of Frisco. 2011 U.S. Census Bureau numbers reveal nearly 80 percent of Frisco jobs are filled by employees who live in other cities.
“The FEDC recognizes there is a great opportunity to better connect the skilled workers who live in Frisco with companies offering quality jobs in Frisco,” said Gandy. “We are now exploring and evaluating options for a program to help Frisco professionals find Frisco corporate jobs. Our desire is to increase awareness about job opportunities within our borders for residents who would prefer to work closer to home with a shorter commute allowing more time to enjoy family, friends and community involvement.”
“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Frisco Economic Development Corporation,” said Tom Stellman, TIP’s founder and CEO. “The city has a lot of things going for it from an economic development perspective and is in an enviable position to attract and retain companies, and the FEDC has a clearly demonstrated ability to attract and retain employment opportunities for Frisco residents.” In the past five years the FEDC has facilitated projects with the potential of creating or retaining nearly 12,500 jobs in the city.
Stellman points to Frisco’s location in the dynamic Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, its network of highways and roads that provide fast access to DFW International Airport, Dallas Love Field and many other North Texas cities, and variety of commercial office and retail developments as advantages for employers in addition to its highly-skilled workforce.
About TIP Strategies, Inc.
TIP Strategies, Inc. is a privately held Austin-based economic development consulting firm committed to providing quality solutions for public and private-sector clients. Established in 1995, the firm’s primary focus is economic development strategic planning. The firm offers innovative, practical economic development and workforce development strategies that deliver results. Over the last five years, TIP has served increasingly higher profile clients around the nation and has prepared talent-driven strategies for a number of major metropolitan areas, including Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Houston. The firm has also expanded its workforce-related services in support of its Talent-Innovation-and-Place framework.
Contact: Tom Stellman
Phone: (512) 343-9190
Facebook: TIP Strategies: Economic and Workforce Consultants
About the FEDC
The Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) was created in 1991, when Frisco voters approved a half-cent sales tax to fund economic development in the city. The FEDC operates as a Texas non-profit corporation and is governed by a seven-member board of directors appointed by the Frisco City Council. Job number one is creating jobs, as the FEDC’s mission is to improve the economic opportunities and quality of life for all Frisco residents. Since its establishment, the FEDC has facilitated every major economic development project in the city of Frisco, resulting in more than 300 projects that have the potential to occupy over 24 million square feet of commercial space, generate new capital investment in excess of $3.8 billion, and create or retain more than 34,800 potential direct jobs in the city of Frisco.
A 2013 benchmarking survey by Atlas Magazine recognized the FEDC as the “Highest Performing Economic Development Organization” in the world among populations 100,001 to 250,000, based on the deals done in 2012. This achievement highlights the FEDC’s commitment to seek out and foster new economic opportunities for one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.
Media Contact: Darcy Schroer
Phone: (972) 292-5155
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