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Economic Development Conversations

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A roundtable discussion with Kenny McDonald, CEO of Columbus 2020, and Mark Birnbrich of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. This article first appeared in Columbus Business First on 8/3/2012.

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Economic Development Conversations

  1. 1. A special advertising feature to Columbus Business First 08.03.12 | Page 31 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT A roundtable discussion on Central Ohio Economic DevelopmentPANELISTS:Mark BirnbrichProject ManagerOffice of Workforce DevelopmentDepartment of Job and Family ServicesKenny McDonald What is it?Chief Economic Officer Conversations is aColumbus 2020 roundtable series moderated by Columbus■ BUSINESS FIRST: Mark, why don’t you give us theelevator version of Ohio Means Jobs and what your role Business First. Insights fromis in job creation here in Ohio. industry leaders are showcasedBIRNBRICH: Ohio Means Jobs is one of the first private- in a question and answer format.public partnerships where we created a website involv-ing our partner, Monster.com, and really tried to give Participants are profiled in greaterback to employers and job-seekers a site that would detail further into the conversation.give them access to data that would cost them thou-sands of dollars for free.We tried to make it very simple and look at the em- That is our single ulterior motive, to make that match. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: How does that compare to maybeployer and say: “What does an employer want?” the prior 18 months, 24 months? Is that pretty strong? So when you think about it, our website is really of-An employer wants talent, when they can find it, 24/7. fering the talent for free to Ohio-based employers McDONALD: Yes, it’s strong, and it has stayed strong, and we’re bringing those job seekers – how they can although we see a lot of uncertainty in the businessAnd we’ve given that ability for them to find over 2.4 find all those Ohio employers and bringing them to- community and with business investors currently.million résumés free that they would pay thousands of gether.dollars for, and we’ve allowed the job seeker to find all ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Why is that? We believe the economythe electronic job opportunities in one place. Our whole motive is trying to figure that out and make was graining strength? it more simple.And really that was our theme: “How do we match McDONALD: It’s an election year, No. 1, so there arethese two things and bring them together, the job We have a phone app for them in the sense that the job some industries that are interested in that. And thereseeker and the employer, and play the middleman and seeker will be able to find those jobs with their iPhones still is wobbly demand for products.make it free and easy for them?” and Droids and everything and trying to keep that ca- pability. I think managers who have learned about how things■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, Columbus 2020: what are you can change very quickly over the last four or five yearsdoing, and tell us how that differentiates from economic And, again, really trying to figure out that “value are very cautious managers these days.development efforts in central Ohio in the past. added” for an employer because those small to me- dium size businesses, you know, that’s not been their ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Mark, are you seeing the same thingMcDONALD: Columbus 2020 is a regional growth strat- market niche is to understand these electronic tools with Ohio Means Jobs?egy for the 11-county central Ohio area focused on because they don’t have thousands of dollars to spendbuilding a sustainable economic base by growing and on finding the talent; they go to some other sort of BIRNBRICH: Yes, we actually monitor it on a daily basiskeeping the companies that we currently have here in methods. of how many new jobs are being put onto the site, andcentral Ohio, and making them more profitable. we put out monthly reports of what the jobs looking We’ve brought what the big boys have always had, we like this time period, and ask what did it look like lastWe attract new employers to the region and build on brought it and put it right in front of them and say: month, and what did it look like this same time periodour economic strengths by looking over the horizon “You have the same tools, the same access to those a year ago.and then building on some emerging capabilities. millions of people for talent, now go do it, become eco- nomically strong, and find the talent you need that fits Everything right now, as was said, is that we are on anWe work to connect our entrepreneurs with our eco- your business needs.” uptake in a sense, you’re always seeing an increase innomic base and with the tools and with the great insti- the number of opportunities, and that has been some-tutions that we have here. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, how long have you been here thing that we’ve seen over the last eight months in that now? sense.■ BUSINESS FIRST: So what’s different with Columbus2020 than how central Ohio approached economic de- McDONALD: Two years. But it wasn’t like that 18 months ago.velopment five years ago? ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Do you know how many central Ohio It was always a decrease from the previous month, butMcDONALD: It’s extraordinarily action oriented and jobs have been created in the last 12 months? we have seen an uptake here recently on a number ofwhile it’s backed by great strategy and information, it jobs.has a bias for action. McDONALD: If I can answer for the first 18 months of operation; we’ve been fully operational for 18 months. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: How much of it do you think is,So our team is somewhere in the world every week and Nearly 200 companies have announced over 23,000 over the last five years for the most part have been awe’ve seen over 300 companies in the first six months jobs in the last 18 months. struggle, companies are holding on to their cash, the lastof this year. thing in the world they want to do it hire because they ■ BUSINESS FIRST: And these are new jobs, these aren’t want to make sure that things are stable, that business■ BUSINESS FIRST: What is the difference, Mark, be- positions that have been laid off four or five years ago is stable, before they move ahead.tween Ohio Means Jobs’ website and a typical website and they’re refilling?that that someone looking for an employee might go Is that affecting it?on? McDONALD: These are companies that are expanding in our region and announcing job creation as well as McDONALD: I wouldn’t characterize it as hoardingBIRNBRICH: You know, I think the main difference re- new companies coming into the region announcing cash. I think we have created a generation of managersally is the fact that we’re not in it for any type of profit – job creation. that are going to be very cautious because they’ve seenwe’re in it to really make the match between job seeker that things can change very quickly.and employer.
  2. 2. 32 | 08.03.12 Special advertising feature to Columbus Business First A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTSecondly, we see companies working very That hurts that company big time. Those principles won’t change. Our tactics We can tell you what companies have beenhard and being very careful about who they will change periodically in an incremental hiring, what positions they’ve been hiringhire--not because they’re holding back, it’s Where Ohio Means Jobs comes in is really way and occasionally in a very dramatic for.because the companies that we work with, trying to help that and say “Look, you don’t way to adjust with the times over thewhen they hire someone, they’re deeply have to go spend the money to find the can- course of our next 10 years. The major thing is we now have the sup-committed to that person and they want didates, we’ve got the candidates here, let’s ply-and-demand answer.to make sure they make the right decision help you manage that as best we can and ■ BUSINESS FIRST: How do Ohio Meansbecause they have an obligation to have find that right fit for your organization.” Jobs and Columbus 2020 interact to help What we’ve got to figure out is how wethat person for a long time. employers, especially here in central Ohio, invest strategically in making our decisions. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, the new Colum- find the right people?■ BUSINESS FIRST: Does that make Ohio bus 2020, the new economic development That means that if we have enough weld-Means Jobs’ website more valuable? model that’s been established, is it more BIRNBRICH: We’re very proud of some of ers, should we be investing in welding sustainable than what we’ve done in the the tools that we have for economic de- programs anymore? Or should we be in-BIRNBRICH: Yes, I was just going to second past in our economic development efforts? velopment. vesting our training dollars into somethingthat. What we’ve seen and heard is that else and stop offering more welding pro-through those tough years they’ve had to Does it give us an opportunity to have We have data mining tools. That’s some- grams—in that sense.figure out how to be lean, they’ve had to greater success as we move forward? thing that is one of the best unknownsre-engineer their practices with Six Sigma around Ohio Means Jobs is that you think McDONALD: We certainly use Ohio Meansand all sorts of things, and maybe retool McDONALD: Absolutely. of the 2.4 million résumés and think of Jobs as a tool. We know that our clients do.with new machinery. Columbus 2020 trying to encourage a ■ BUSINESS FIRST: How so? company to move here, whether it’s for One of the best ways to learn about a re-What that’s done is the new labor that logistics, health care; whatever it may be, gion is to look on those job-posting sites. It McDONALD: Because it is action-based and tells you a lot about who is growing--whothey’re going to need has to be a little more that they can go in and say “Look, com- we now know that our tactics will have to are the dominant players.skilled than the labor they had before, and pany, if you move to the Columbus region, change from year to year, but the basicthat’s where you hear there’s this mismatch I can tell you we have 562 people whose principles of what we need to do are going So we know that our clients use that andnow of companies needing a higher-skilled résumés were just added in the last 30 days to remain the same. other job search databases to help them getlabor force with more technology back- who have this skill set.” a picture of what’s happening in a region.ground. It’s not like the business it used to We’ve got to take good care of our cus-be that you could come with a high school We have an answer now. It’s not: “What tomers, which are the companies that are We also view it as a indicator of where ourdegree and start in some of these jobs. are the skills in Ohio?” here already. supply and demand are matching up in It’s about saying: “Here are the skill sets of terms of the workforce, and that continuesThey require a lot of technological knowl- ■ BUSINESS FIRST: And that’s part of what to be something that (Gov. Kasich) looks atedge nowadays just to operate machinery the people we have.” the Columbus Chamber’s role is now, right? very closely, that the Jobs Ohio team looksin some businesses. They have re-tooled Existing business? We’ve given those tools to each of the at very closely, and we look at very closely.and now they’re saying that they’ve got tomake certain that the hire we’re making is Jobs Ohio regions; Columbus being one of McDONALD: Exactly. We think it is very telling in terms of the skillsthe right fit for us because the investment them, from being able to look at our tal- ent, but also looking from the supply side, mismatch with the kind of companies that areof interviewing and all is really costing All of our partners around our region, we’ve and the demand side. growing and expanding within our region.companies thousands of dollars. got to take good care of those customers, we have to attract companies to the region, ■ BUSINESS FIRST: About a year ago whenWhen you start doing that the next thing We have access to all the electronic jobs we have to grow our own, and we have to we held our CBF Interview (event) together,you know, you just spent $25,000 on a hire that are being posted, we have the tools constantly improve and make this a better I believe you said that Columbus 2020 willand they only stay for six months because that they can say: “I’m interested in hos- place to live and to work and to play so we have at least one staff person visit anotherthey just wanted this stopgap you could pitality, what’s going on in the hospitality can attract the kind of talent we need to country to promote Columbus at least ev-find in their résumé to go somewhere else. industry here in Columbus?” populate these private enterprises. ery other week during 2012. Why search across 50 states when you’re trying to hire in one? Ohio and Monster have teamed up to help big and small businesses match up with the best talent across the state. Ohio Means Jobs uses advanced tools and filters to narrow down your A big idea from a region employee search to a manageable number of resumes, saving you time and effort. If you’re known for big ideas. looking to hire in Ohio, look no further. The 11-county Columbus Region’s Faster Filters. business, civic and academic leaders have Better Results. come together to work on building an even stronger economy through an effort called Columbus 2020. YOUR BUSINESS LOCATION RESOURCE FOR CENTRAL OHIO columbusregion.com 614.225.6060
  3. 3. A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Special advertising feature to Columbus Business First | 08.03.12 | 33Have we been able to stick to that? We handle those requests and take care In some respects a lot of employers also tion to who’s looking for work here. of them and send résumés and all of those don’t want the deluge of 500 résumés toMcDONALD: We’ve been in six countries things. sift through. And we want everyone using it too. Wein the first six months of the year. We’re in want job seekers looking at it as well.China currently. But really, Ohio Means Jobs is about Ohio- What this gives us is the ability for our lo- based companies having access. cal network and our individuals to actually BUSINESS FIRST: Right. I want to go backAnd we are going to remain very aggres- talk to that employer and ask: “What are to the international question.sive. Beyond that, it is a relationship that we your needs?” and understand them. And will handle those things, but it’s more on then actually do the search. You said as much as 30 percent of your ef-Over 30 percent of our projects, both an as-needed basis and case-by-case basis. forts are focused on international compa-expanding and relocating, are foreign- They can pull them in from Ohio Means nies.owned companies. Actually, we just met with an individual Jobs, interview these five candidates, give from the United Kingdom. them different assessments, and make a McDONALD: Yes.So it remains a very important piece of our good referral to the company and say:puzzle and something that we’re going to Monster.com submitted a proposal for ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Can you give us a re- “Hey, I’ve whittled down 400 résumés,be very aggressive about--reaching out to the entire country to go to a whole new cent success of an expansion or someone and here are the top three that you shouldthose growing companies. system, and they actually bid Ohio Means new coming to the area? interview.” Jobs to the United Kingdom. They sentWe’re also building long-term relation- someone over here and we spent five McDONALD: In Marion County a company Again, thinking of that employer notships so that we can win the projects of hours with them talking about where we called US Yachiyo, Inc., which is a supplier spending thousands of dollars on that hir-the future as a nation like China starts to are, what we’re doing, how we use it, to Honda. ing process, it allows us to use our public-export companies to the U.S. to compete what were our pitfalls, what would we sector tools that we have to really helpin our market. Honda has, obviously, created a wonderful have done differently. those employers find the talent they need. economic base across the entire state of■ BUSINESS FIRST: Are we focusing on We’ll now have a great relationship with Ohio and here in central Ohio. It’s a great fit. Ohio Means Jobs has all thespecific industries? Technology? the United Kingdom because once they’re access, the information, in a single portal, US Yachiyo, Inc. is a company that’s ex- done, they want to know how we grew and then they use that to find that talentMcDONALD: We do it country by country. panding to meet the demands of Honda, and what we’ve done differently for em- to do what they need to for that employer. and some of the rebuilding of the supply ployers and individuals.If we go to Israel, we may be focused on chain, because of the tsunami. It’s self-service and staff assisted at themedical technology or on aerospace tech- ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Mark, how does Ohio same time.nology companies. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Mark, give us more of Means Jobs work with other employment the primary services Ohio Means Jobs of- services that you offer, such as the Ohio ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, do you help pro-If we go to China, we’re looking for those fers to employers and existing employers. Department of Job and Family Services? mote that service?mature enterprises that are actually look-ing to expand abroad. BIRNBRICH: There are three main things BIRNBRICH: That’s our network of part- McDONALD: Absolutely. that we do for employers. ners in the workforce arena.If we’re in Germany, we’re probably talk- We do, and we’re using it a lot on our so-ing to manufacturing, to small family- First, you have the passive way an employ- So if you take an employer that’s interest- cial media outreach as well to make sureowned companies that are considering er can find talent. They can post a job, no ed in moving into our region, it’s nice to people are taking a look at it, both the in-expansion into North America. registration, so no one has to remember say: “Go find your own talent and here’s ternal customers as well as those outside, passwords and user IDs, which is very un- the tool to go use and do that.” so that they are constantly paying atten-■ BUSINESS FIRST: That’s a great thingabout an internet-based job database. Itdoesn’t matter where you are in the world, Meet the panel:these companies all have access to OhioMeans Jobs’ website. Do you invite themto visit the website? Kenny McDonald, CEOMcDONALD: Absolutely. As chief economic officer of Columbus 2020, Kenny McDonald, CEcD, serves as the primaryWe think it’s one of the best ways for leader of all economic development and business attraction efforts, including the Columbusthem to gain insight. 2020 initiative.We are not trying to sell anyone a region. McDonald has an extensive background in site selection, regional economic development,We are trying to create well-informed cus- community marketing, business recruitment and international business development.tomers. Previously, McDonald had served seven years as the executive vice president of the Char-We think our product is fantastic and lotte Regional Partnership, a public-private economic development organization covering ait’s comparable to any great place in the 16-county region in North and South Carolina. McDonald’s 15 years of economic develop-world. So this is a way for them to get ment experience also include leadership positions at the Albuquerque Economic Develop- ment Corporation, Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and the Savannah Economicinsight about what our workforce is and Development Authority.who other employers are, so it’s a greattool. McDonald received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Dickinson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.■ BUSINESS FIRST: Mark, will you specifi- He holds the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer, (CEcD) awardedcally work with requests from an interna- through the International Economic Development Council.tional company to provide names, titles, toprovide résumés?How close does OhioMeansJobs.com get Meet the panel:with prospects?BIRNBRICH: For self-service, you have tobe an Ohio-based company or you don’t Mark Birnbrich, PROJECT MANAGERget access to the data. OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES (ODJFS) AND OHIO OFFICE OF WORKFORCE TRANSFORMATIONCertainly our governor and everyone wantto say: “Look, we want to keep our tal- Mark Birnbrich manages multiple projects for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Service’s Office ofent here in Ohio and help Ohio companies Workforce Development and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. Most notable amonggrow.” these is OhioMeansJobs, the state’s premier resume and job bank, developed in partnership with Monster. com. Birnbrich spearheaded this innovative public-private partnership, the first of its kind in the nation. HeWorking with our Jobs Ohio partners also oversaw the launching of a mobile phone application for the site, an OhioMeansVeteranJobs sectionand our workforce system, if they have and worked with the Ohio Board of Regents to launch an OhioMeansInternships website for students.a relationship with an employer outside During Birnbrich’s 24-plus-year career with the state, he has helped guide numerous critical projects.the country or outside our state and say: He started in Medicaid overseeing an overhaul of the reimbursement methodology used to pay nursing“We’re really trying to work with this homes. Later, he guided the implementation of Ohio’s first statewide child support system. This involvedcompany, we’re trying to bring them here, converting 88 county systems and more than a million records into one system with collections of morecould you send them some talent so they than $1 billion dollars annually.can start seeing them, interview them?” Birnbrich was chief information officer of the Ohio Department of Human Services when it merged withBecause when they get here, they the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services to become ODJFS. He oversaw all IT operations during the merger, an annual budget of approximately $500 million and more than 1,000 employees.need a project manager at that facility.
  4. 4. 34 | 08.03.12 Special advertising feature to Columbus Business First A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTusual for most of these sites. We just allow BIRNBRICH: Where we set ourselves apart is McDONALD: Well, we lead with the talent Our greatest opportunity is that we can re-employers to go on and post job opportuni- our private-public partnership. piece. ally grow not only our economic base, butties. we can grow our population base here, Every state is mandated to have a job search A headquarters today is largely a back-of- and that’s really important to do becauseThe aggressive way, which is accessing capability for unemployed workers, so every fice operation and companies’ headquarters companies go to talent and that’s the newthe database of the 2.4 million résumés state has some type of system that does this. are most of the time very lean. paradigm that we’re in for economic devel-and finding that specific person through a opment.bunch of search filters and things that they What does set us apart is the fact of our pri- If you look at some of the companies thatcan do. vate-public partnership that if you want to we have that aren’t headquartered here but It used to be that talent went to where the go to Monster.com and pay a fee, you can have lots of headquarters-type functions companies were at. Given the demographicAnd the third is what the governor’s office see the résumés, or you can come to Ohio here, Chase would be at the top of that changes, the skilled work force shortages,has just done, which is now that all state Means Jobs and see the same ones for free. with 23,000 people in Ohio, most of whom companies are increasingly looking atprograms that are workforce related are go- are in central Ohio. where are the right people. That is para-ing to start with Ohio Means Jobs. What we have been able to do is take this mount for many of our customers. and make this private-public partnership We can prove that we have all the functionsForget all the state agencies and trying to work. and all the talent that a headquarters needs, So if we can continue to grow like that,map through these bureaucratic agencies– from IT talent to accounting and human re- we’ll continue to win projects and bringwhere they are and all those things. If any We offer access to millions of résumés in- sources talent. employers here in a range of industries andorganization offers programs for employers stead of just thousands. economic sectors, and I can see us beingor job-seekers and it’s a program that they People are real thought leaders in business. a much larger metropolitan region in tencan benefit from, all the agencies are mar- The system before this was five years old For a lot of companies we provide great years than we are currently.keting it first off of Ohio Means Jobs. and we only had 80,000 résumés on it. worldwide access, so you can get there from here. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: We have a diverse pro-So employers go there first to see all the Five years, 80,000 résumés. fessional services economy here in centralnew initiatives that are going on, then they And many of the companies that we’re Ohio and that’s to our benefit. We flipped the switch and we were at 2 mil- talking to are not comfortable going to thecan click from there and get to the state lion résumés with Ohio Means Jobs. largest markets like Chicago and New York,agency where they’re actually operating the How much do you play that up as far as pro-program. but are in much smaller places and do need moting central Ohio in that way? So think of an employer needing access to the kind of air service and cultural ameni- talent that went from 80,000 to 2 millionThus, we now have a single portal where ties and talent possibilities that a place like McDONALD: It’s extraordinarily important in prospects overnight.employers know: “That is the one place I Columbus affords. two ways.go to find my talent as well as new initia- That is what has set us apart.tives that can potentially give me money ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Mark, what’s next for In recruiting companies there’s almost neverand help me with hiring or retraining my I probably have had interviews with 20 or Ohio Means Jobs from a technological stand- a time when we can’t point to someoneworkers.” 30 states around our country trying to fig- point? who’s been successful in their sector and is, ure out how we did this. in most cases, a world leader.■ BUSINESS FIRST: Again, that’s important What services do you see being able to pro-to your efforts; important to what you do. Because all of them are in the same boat. vide employers and prospective employers? So in manufacturing, there are companiesDo you use that as part of your pitch when like Rolls Royce and Boeing and DuPont alla company is considering moving from out BIRNBRICH: We just were awarded a $12 operating here being very successful.of state? million grant from the Department of Labor to virtualize Ohio Means Jobs even more. Financial services: Chase and HuntingtonMcDONALD: It is a necessity of what we do tobe able to say that we have tools to do that. “Ohio Means We’ve talked about our network of part- are headquartered here. ners, but what we’re literally going to be All of the insurance players that we have.So state to state, metropolitan area to met-ropolitan area, every one of our clients is Jobs is about able to do is start making it more virtual so employers will have better access to these Health care providers.getting great service and has lots of choices.The fact that we can deliver and say that Ohio-based services without needing to talk to a gov- ernment agency. And really to try to make it that next virtual step instead of bricks and The second way of support is in recruiting talent. People want to move to a locationwe can recruit, screen, and deliver a goodproduct to their door, hopefully who is ei- companies mortar. that has diversity both from a cultural stand- point as well as economic diversity because, just like the managers we spoke of before,ther trained or trainable, is absolutely critical One of the main things we’re working onto our sales process. having over the next year is really trying to think of employers saying: “I’m looking for a weld- people are very sensitive to this now too and they want to move to a community whereBut I wouldn’t say that it sets us apart. I er,” and let’s say they come to Ohio Means if something happens to the company thatwould say that it is an ante to the game ofeconomic development. access [to job Jobs and they post that opportunity. they’re working for, they know that they can go across the street, perhaps work in■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, you’ve been heretwo years. You came from Charlotte. candidates].” We actually look and say: “We have 77 workforce programs here in Ohio that have funding for that. We think four of those the same industry or related, and that their spouse or their children have a future in that same community. programs will help pay for you to bring thatHow does Columbus compete with these hot talent on board.” The Columbus region has a very, very strongsunbelt cities: Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando? story to tell there because of all the different Right now it’s a maze for that employer to arenas that we play in.How do we compete with how they use their figure out.sunshine, how they use their weather, their – Mark Birnbrich ■ BUSINESS FIRST: We mentioned our edu-low taxes, available land, things of that na- We’re figuring out how to be more proac- cational component and the tens of thou-ture? tive to say: “You posted an opportunity that sands of college students that we have here. we think hits one of three or four categoriesMcDONALD: Let’s hope that they’re ask- If I would go to Columbus 2020 and say: and you should look into this,” or “We’ll re- How has Ohio Means Jobs capitalized on oring the same question because I think that “I have a database of 80,000 unemployed fer you over to these agencies” and really worked with the universities here to makeColumbus is more diverse than almost any workers, do you want to go sell that on my try to make it a more proactive system that sure that those résumés are on the data-market, medium/mid-size market, in the behalf?” I’m not quite sure we’d be having will try to read the mind of that employer base?country. the same conversation here. and actually be proactive in telling them about benefits and services. BIRNBRICH: Well, I’m glad you asked that.We have an unparalleled talent base with It’s different to say: “I’ve taken 80,000 and150,000-plus college students that we have integrated them with 2 million other résu- We will educate them instead of them try- We actually just started this. It’s called Ohio-in the region. més of every Ohioan, would you want to ing to figure out what’s available to them MeansInternships.com, a partnership with go sell that?” on their own. the Board of Regents and the university sys-We have fantastic geography and infra- tem of Ohio and the chancellor where theystructure. And we’re an incredible value for That’s a mind-shift change. That will set us apart. have a portal for internships.the business customer. ■ BUSINESS FIRST: We just had great suc- We need to be proactive in reaching out to They’re going out and recruiting and tryingWe believe that we can compete with any- cess in returning Wendy’s corporate head- them and that’s where I see us going. to get all their schools to get the studentsone, but we have to keep working at it. quarters from Atlanta back to Dublin. who are looking for internships to get their ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, what are the ar- résumés on it.■ BUSINESS FIRST: It’s an educational pro- You don’t hear a lot in economic develop- eas of greatest opportunity for Columbuscess. ment efforts about major headquarters- 2020? The interesting thing is when they are go- -there aren’t a lot of headquarters reloca- ing on Ohio Means Internships and they’reMark, does your website give us an advan- tions out there. McDONALD: The Columbus region has posting their résumé for an internship, it’stage over other communities that may not almost unlimited potential for growth. actually being posted to Ohio Means Jobshave a one-stop source, as Ohio does, for How do you pitch Columbus as a destination which then open, again, every company hasrésumés? for a headquarters? access to that.
  5. 5. A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Special advertising feature to Columbus Business First | 08.03.12 | 35We’re just launching this now.We’re also going to allow employers to goin and say: “I’m looking for an intern in “We’re goingelectrical engineering, someone from OhioState University,” and they’re going to be to keep going CONVERSATIONS INSIGHTS FROM INDUSTRY LEADERSable to put that in and find someone who’sposted their resume who’s at Ohio StateUniversity and is in electrical engineering. to tell ourBut we’re allowing them to have this access,and we just launched that. story aroundThe bottom line comes when an employersays: “I’m looking for an intern,” guess the countrywhere they end up? It’s Ohio Means Jobs.They’re using the same search tools, wheth- and in otherer they’re looking for a intern or just a newhire. nations.” Say it here.■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, we talk aboutOhio State, but as big as it is, it still only rep- If your company has a top-level executiveresents about half of the college students in willing to share industry insight, say it here.central Ohio. Columbus Business First’s ConversationsHow do you use that? How do you exploit feature is a quarterly Q&A roundtablethe great educational system we have here, featuring an exclusive selection of regionalthe number of college students, the variededucation programs when you’re selling industry leaders.central Ohio as a region? Start your conversation.McDONALD: There are a variety of ways. – Kenny McDonald Call 614-461-4040 today.First of all, it’s a surprise to many that we’rethe No. 1 destination for college students inthe Midwest. The hardest thing for us is trying to get ridWe have more than any other city in the of that stigma that it’s government.Midwest, and that’s something that peoplepay attention to, but not a lot of people What you’re seeing, even with Jobs Ohioknow. and things that are outside of government in this private-public partnership, is we’reSecond, we need to work with each of the doing things so differently than what peo-universities and colleges and the different ple used to think of. Because who wouldschools within them to leverage what they have thought we in Ohio would be the firstbring to the table. in the country to have this private-public partnership?Finally, we must do a better job of tappinginto the great alumni network that all of And by offering something that would costthose schools represent. you thousands of dollars and offering it for free and finding excellent talent?Ohio State alone has over 500,000 alumniaround, many of whom are running compa- ■ BUSINESS FIRST: Kenny, what can we looknies and making decisions about where to forward to with Columbus 2020 and youradd jobs and capital investment. continued economic development efforts for the community?We know that there are hundreds of alumnifrom great schools like Denison and Ohio McDONALD: We’re committed to the longWesleyan and Franklin who are also running run.companies. We’re going to keep this up. And we’reWe think that’s a terrific tool to have a con- going to keep going to tell our storyversation, and it puts us in a unique position around the country and in other nations.to speak with someone who’s had a specialexperience in our region already and talk to We’re going to keep talking to our ownthem about coming back here to work or businesses and asking them what’s impor-to move their company back to the region. tant to help them grow.■ BUSINESS FIRST: What’s important, Mark, And we’re going to work even harder onabout Ohio Means Jobs that our readers of helping entrepreneurs connect to resourcesColumbus Business First need to know as to here so that we can start more companieshow can they best access your database? and have more scalable enterprises here that rival anywhere in the country.BIRNBRICH: For small- to medium-size busi-nesses, offering them free access to talent We are 18 months into our operation.that would cost them thousands of dollars--and they can do it 24/7, so they can do it We are going to keep at this.on their WiFi sitting on their deck havinga glass of wine at the end of a hard day’s We have unbelievable commitment fromwork. our private partners and our public partners, and I can’t say enough about the peopleAll the case management tools are part of it who have invested in our strategy becauseso they can communicate with these candi- it’s paying off and the interest of that willdates, look at their résumés, bring them in only compound if we keep it up over time.for interviews, track how things are going. So, more to come.We are basically offering them a job searchdepartment for free. We’re off to a good start, but we have a long way to go to do what we have the po-If you’re a small business or an entrepreneur tential to do.and you’re trying to start a new businessand you have Ohio Means Jobs, there is anetwork of services and resources around it.

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