5 things Dayton has to do to keep companies, jobs in the region

Dayton Daily News reporters Max Filby and Kaitlin Schroeder take an in-depth look at Teradata's departure from Miami Twp. — and what it means for the region's economy. Read the full report here to understand what's really going on. 

When Teradata — the data analytics firm based in Miami Twp. — this week announced plans to move to San Diego, the region once again faced questions of whether it has what it takes to attract and keep technology jobs.

Teradata announced Wednesday that it will leave its Miami Twp. headquarters at Austin Landing for San Diego. Company officials said the firm already had more employees in California, and said nothing specifically this week as to why Dayton no longer was the best location for them.

» TRENDING COVERAGE: Teradata leaving: Does Dayton have what it takes to keep tech jobs?

The company will take around 267 jobs, echoing the departures of other corporate giants who left the region in the past decade. Here are five things Dayton officials will have to do to attract and keep companies invested in the region:

1. Dayton will need a cluster of tech companies. 

“First and foremost, technology companies in particular tend to locate where they have a large labor pool that suits there needs. If we start there, the next step is trying to figure out what is attractive to that talented work force,” said Steve Nutt, senior vice president of CityWide Development, which is Dayton’s economic development arm.

2. Workers want to live in a vibrant community. 

Companies — particularly in the competitive technology sector — want to be in a community where their workers want to live. And those potential workers are asking things like what’s the lifestyle and recreational opportunities like? And if something changes at a job, are there several other nearby companies doing similar work?

3. Government incentives also help. 

Whether considered first or last, government incentives are frequently part of a company’s decision as to whether to come here or to stay. Taylor Communications — previously named Standard Register — got $1 million in combined incentives between the city of Dayton and Montgomery County, which helped pay for the company to move across the city and renovate a downtown Dayton office tower.

4. Local universities have to be competitive. 

Part of chasing after a tech talent pipeline also means being near a strong higher education system. “Recent surveys bear this out and Teradata’s own comments concur with it. It’s getting harder and harder to find a skilled workforce,” said John Leland, vice president for research and executive director of the University of Dayton Research Institute.

5. The city has to be ready for change. 

Scott Koorndyk, president of The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton - a non-profit that gives facility and business guidance to local tech start-ups - said the region’s economic development officials have to move fast, and quickly.

“I think we’ve got to look hard at what we’re doing to get in front of these things,” Koorndyk said of Teradata’s move planned for early next year. “Candidly, we need to do a lot better job.”

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