Attracting next workforce goal of new Dayton research effort

Dayton Chamber of Commerce and coalition team up in marketing program

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

An expanded effort to attract a talented workforce to the Dayton region was announced this week by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dayton Development Coalition.

The effort is a partnership with the national media and research firm, Livability, known for its city rankings at The goal is to harness the digital reach and research skills of Livability to help draw people to the Dayton region, said Holly Allen, director of marketing and communications for the Chamber.

She said Livability’s research will enable local development and business officials “to see what workers are looking for and where do we fit, so that we can really highlight that and attract those workers.”

“They create content for us to allow us to tell the story of the Dayton area, what makes it so great to live here and what benefits are available,” Allen said.

Starting in the summer of 2021 the company will produce both printed and digital content to replace a print magazine the Chamber has produced for businesses to recruit employees and the coalition has given site selectors.

There is no cost to the Chamber or the coalition because Livability will generate revenue through advertising, Allen said.

Shannon Joyce Neal, the coalition’s vice president of strategic communications said Livability will be a tool for companies reaching outside the region to find workers.

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“From my perspective, it’s a great way to produce high-quality content we can use to show Dayton’s excellent quality of life. Livability can help us circulate the content nationally so more people can learn about our community,” Neal said. “Talent attraction and quality of life content is a unique category—it’s not quite tourism brochures, which speak to people looking to visit, but it’s not local lifestyle coverage either, which is geared more at people who already live here and have a basic understanding of the community.”

“It’s introducing what it’s like to live here to someone who may never have heard of Dayton before,” Neal said.

Over the past few years business leaders have consistently said that their biggest problem is finding qualified and talented employees.

A 2018 Dayton Daily News investigation found growing concerns about the ability of the region to meet the immediate and future workforce needs of companies. Massive layoffs across the state this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean more workers are available, but they may not have the skills employers need.

“Unfortunately, it’s a moving target because of COVID. Industry needs are changing rapidly and the workforce is changing,” Allen said.

She said the challenge is “talent alignment,” making sure the necessary skill set is available locally and working with educators to set up an education pipeline for companies.

Liveability will write stories about the region and place them on a Dayton page on their website, Allen said.

“You are missing the mark if you are not focusing on digital media,” Allen said. “The quality of the work they are doing is really impressive.”

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