Chicago touts a diverse workforce. Morgantown, West Virginia, promises outdoor activities galore. Savannah, Georgia, advertises its historic charm. Indianapolis is proud of its small-town feel.
Why it matters: The post-pandemic workforce reshuffling has given cities and towns a new opportunity — and a new mandate — to market themselves with glitzy ad campaigns and worker recruiting trips, putting a new spin on the conventional municipal economic development playbook.
Between the lines: Instead of trying to attract big companies with tax incentives to bring a new headquarters or manufacturing plant (along with hundreds of new jobs) to town, city leaders are looking for the “micro-talent” — the individual who already has a job somewhere else but is looking for a better place to live.
- Convince enough people to move to a particular city, and that city suddenly has a new worker ecosystem that can grow organically without having to dole out multimillion-dollar tax breaks to lure corporations.
- Building out the social and physical infrastructure needed for remote workers — like co-working spaces, restaurants and other urban amenities and faster broadband — can help stimulate local economies.
What’s new: Last week, a delegation of Chicago city leaders and serial tech entrepreneurs headed to San Francisco to meet with Chicago natives who’d moved west to pursue their tech careers, with the hopes of luring some of them back.
- “We’ve got a lot of very strong, innovative tech…