How do you attract talent to your region — and get them to want to stay? Jill Meyer is the President and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, and on today’s episode, we’re talking about talent, inclusion, transportation, and overall regional transformation to elevate our region and make it one of the world’s best places to live, work, and play.
Growing the vibrancy and economic prosperity of the region
These two phrases must always go together: you cannot achieve economic prosperity without a vibrant region to attract and keep talent, and you can’t attract and keep talent without economic prosperity. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber takes a unified regional approach to this, looking at the region as a whole and tying together all the different people, landscapes, histories, and futures.
The Connected Region is a vision of the future of transportation for the region. Technology is impacting how people get around, and we have to focus on solutions that work for different people. We need options for those who drop off kids in the morning, or check on an elderly parent at noon, or any of the millions of things that people have to incorporate into our days, and still be at their jobs — and this has to be a regional system. Not just separate pieces.
Cincinnati Mobility Lab
One of their current pilot projects is the Cincinnati Mobility Lab, Uber’s only mobility lab in the world. Uber’s treasure trove of data is helping the region understand where the transportation gaps are on the people side of the equation, so they can do better in more creative, forward-thinking ways.
The Workforce Innovation Center
There are a lot of people in the community who are underemployed, or rather, as Jill would say, overemployed and not making enough money to make ends meet. This is happening because while the community has plenty of training programs and a tremendous number of employers with open jobs, they aren’t connected.
The Workforce Innovation Center is a one-stop shop for employers where they can say: we have X number of open jobs, we’re open to exploring working with a new population of people and we’re willing to look in places we don’t normally look. The Innovation Center will then reach out to their ecosystem of providers and trainers to find the right people for the job, taking the guesswork out of it for the employers.
An inclusive and global region
The heart and soul of everything that drives an economy is people, period. To create a community where anyone can thrive, inclusion in its purest form is critical: everybody must feel at home.
You have to be both diverse and inclusive, and while being diverse is easy, that doesn’t mean you’re being inclusive. For example: would you know what you need to do to employ individuals with different abilities? How can you be accessible?
The region is still far too segregated. Push outside of your comfort zones and work together with people who are so unlike you that you can’t believe you have something in common with them. Because guess what: you do.
Cultural Competency for Leaders
This is a pilot project that forces people to acknowledge and learn about their own implicit bias, and then learn and understand how they can move beyond that. It’s a phenomenal program because it forces people to have conversations, to as themselves, “How inclusive am I actually being?”
What Jill loves about the implicit bias conversations is that we don’t need to find similarities, because it’s about appreciating our differences.