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A New Approach to Business Recruitment

June 30, 2011

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By Jonas Peterson, SCVEDC President/CEO

Jonas PetersonThe leadership of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation (SCVEDC) recently launched a regional business attraction and marketing campaign for the Valley. The effort is unique, combining the expertise and resources of organizations such as the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County and College of the Canyons with the area’s largest development companies and other private investors.  By working together through the SCVEDC, the Santa Clarita Valley now has its first comprehensive, regional business recruitment program.

In addition, the SCVEDC’s effort is unique in its focus and implementation tactics. Our team has spent almost eleven months identifying those areas where the SCVEDC can add value to the process and then building the necessary programs, resources and services necessary to be successful. Now that those preparations are complete, implementation finally is underway. Let me share with you a few of our key campaign elements:

REGIONAL APPROACH

As public budgets tighten, regional business recruitment represents the most cost effective approach to economic development. By leveraging public investment with private support we are able to make the most of taxpayer dollars.  Also, by working together our vision becomes clearer, we benefit from economies of scale and our sense of community is heightened.

TARGET INDUSTRIES

Our Valley is a great fit for many industries, but a few key clusters stand out. As part of a recently conducted Target Industry Analysis, a leading, independent site selection consulting group identified six key primary industries that have demonstrated significant potential for long-term economic growth in the Santa Clarita Valley: Digital Media & Entertainment, Aerospace & Defense, Medical Devices, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Tourism.

DIRCT SALES

SCVEDC staff works directly with local brokers, service providers and other organizations to make personal sales calls to prospective firms that can benefit from locating in the Santa Clarita Valley. This attention to personalized communication is essential to the relationship-building process, which has been proven to be one of the most effective techniques for successful business recruitment.

CENTRALIZED INFORMATION

In order to fulfill our region’s need for centralized, economic development information and client service, SCVEDC is continuing to grow a robust information center.  We serve as the single point of contact for SCV-specific business information such as available incentives, labor force, and utilities as well as economic indicators, cost comparisons, socio-economic data, economic forecasts, strategies and community marketing materials.

LONG-TERM FOCUS

Business location decisions are not made over night. It takes time to build relationships with the key decision makers of prospective businesses and lead them to selecting the Santa Clarita Valley for their expansion and/or relocation. SCVEDC’s leadership understands this courtship process and is committed to investing in building those relationships that will generate those job creating results in the future. And, along the way we continue to hone our Valley’s business-friendly image.

MEASURING RESULTS

Our goal is simple: recruit high quality, high-paying jobs for Santa Clarita Valley residents and continue building upon Santa Clarita’s many business advantages. To measure our progress we have structured a reporting system that looks at activities within our control and also takes into account the external environment.

SIGNIFICANT ONLINE PRESENCE

A region’s presence online is one of its most critical marketing and communications vehicles. With that in mind, we are continuing to develop our website, scvedc.org, as a content rich tool that effectively markets the Santa Clarita Valley. Providing up to date information, having the ability to analyze available buildings and sites and interact via social media are all important delivery mechanisms for our marketing message and all are components of our recruitment strategy.

BUSINESS RETENTION

Almost 80% of all job creation comes from existing firms. With that in mind, we are also spearheading a Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program for the Valley. The program is partnership-focused and helps us gather information, identify ways to improve our local business climate and strengthen our appeal to new companies.

FOCUS ON SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

The Southern California area, with an emphasis on greater Los Angeles is the geographic focus of our company recruitment efforts. Many companies currently located within the San Fernando Valley would benefit from relocating to the lower cost, higher quality business environment of Santa Clarita Valley. When a business finds a more productive location everyone wins.

COMMUNITY INVOVEMENT

Many of our best leads will come from brokers, service providers and community leaders who have a connection to a company outside of the Santa Clarita Valley. If you know a company that could benefit from expanding or relocating to the Santa Clarita Valley, contact SCVEDC so that we can provide free, confidential community marketing services and help everyone create good jobs in the community we all love!

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