Website melds workforce, economic development data
Workenomics, an affiliate of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, recently launched a new website, workenomics.com.
Chamber President Cheri Hottinger said Workenomics is a partnership between workforce and economic-development professionals and has become a model organization known statewide.
"Licking County knows that one of our top assets is our skilled workforce," she said. "We have proven that we can deliver on providing companies with various types of workers across many different industries."
The new website includes a wide variety of workforce data that potential and existing companies look for when making location and expansion decisions, Hottinger said.
She said the goal is for others to access workforce demographic information on Licking County quickly and easily. She said Cherubini Designs, which has worked with small businesses around Licking County since 1998, designed the site.
Chamber Economic Development Director Dan Evers said the Workenomics committee works in collaboration to plan for and address Licking County's economic development efforts from the perspective of workforce development, availability and training. Evers said the new website provides existing and potential employers with an overview of the community and its labor force, as well as links to economic development, workforce and education resources.
He said he believes economic interest in Licking County is improving.
"There appears, based on number of inquiries received and contacts made, to be an uptick in recent interest and activity," he said. "I don't have 'period-to-period' data to make an absolute comparative statement, but we are seeing a steady flow of prospects and activity."
Evers said that during the July 16 Grow Licking County Community Investment Corp. meeting, he told members the chamber has submitted proposals on 12 development inquires since April. Eight of those have been since June 1, and four of those eight have been submitted since June 18, the date of the June CIC meeting.
Hottinger previously described the public-private CIC as a coordinated "front-door" approach to economic development. Its purpose is to prepare Licking County to compete for jobs and development locally and globally and provide one entity for site speculators and developers to learn everything they need to know about building sites in the county.
"As to whether the CIC's efforts are succeeding, that remains a fairly subjective observation at this early stage," Evers said. "Personally, I think that we, as an organization and as a community, are making significant strides. Our relationships within the region are being positively reinforced and we are able to coordinate responses to inquiries quickly and consistently."
Evers said the CIC is beginning to develop how it presents information and opportunities, and is coordinating those with its local and regional partners. He said the CIC is receiving direct calls from prospects, regional economic development agencies, such as Columbus2020 and the region's development community.
"I believe we're establishing strategic, collaborative partnerships with the development community and our local units of government and other countywide partners," he said.
Evers said it's a reflection, primarily, of the "wide and deep range of talent" within Licking County's workforce, development, government and nonprofit arenas.
"The CIC, as an organization, not an individual, is, I believe, playing a role in facilitating progress in some of these areas," he said.