Site Selectors Guild reports on corporate location trends

By Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President of Economic Development

The Site Selectors Guild is a membership of 64 professional location consultants who represent thousands of companies in their corporate location decisions. As a Guild partner, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) meets them individually when traveling or working on specific projects. The DRC also attends the Guild’s semiannual forums with other economic developers and partners.

The DRC has also hosted the Guild’s fall forum twice. In 2019, the DRC bid for and hosted the forum in Plano, and in 2021, the DRC hosted the fall forum in Dallas after Hurricane Ida disrupted New Orleans’ ability to host.

In April, I attended the Site Selectors Guild’s Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. At the conference, the Guild presented a report on corporate location trends. Below are my key takeaways from the 80-page report.

1. Access to talent drives corporate locations.

All 64 Guild members strongly agreed that access to talent is a key driver for companies considering opening or relocating offices to a region.

Site Selectors Guild members at the 2021 Fall Forum in Dallas.

They also agreed that access to talent drives industrial locations, with 91% strongly agreeing with the statement.

These two pieces of data confirm what the DRC believes: having a strong talent pipeline is closely tied to the economic success of the Dallas Region. That is why the DRC prioritizes a quality regional talent pipeline, from early childhood through K-12 and higher education to a job or career.

Explore our Education, Talent & Workforce priority area to learn more about the DRC’s work in this area.

2. Infrastructure is critical for corporate locations.

Guild members were in agreement regarding infrastructure, with 98% saying that electric reliability is specifically critical for industrial projects, and 96% highlighted development-ready sites as necessary to drive development. Additionally, 79% of site selectors strongly agreed that water drives industrial project locations. This alludes to the critical need for infrastructure investments.

Infrastructure investment is necessary to maintain our region’s growth, which is why the DRC’s Public Policy team has advocated for infrastructure spending for the past several legislative sessions. Specifically, water infrastructure will be a priority of the DRC’s 89th Legislative Agenda.

To learn more about the Public Policy team’s work in infrastructure, visit our website.

3. Community development is a critical part of economic development.

A majority of site selectors, 74%, strongly agree that community development now goes hand in hand with economic development.

The DRC emphasizes community development throughout the region as part of our mission to make the Dallas Region the best place for all people. Increasingly, parks, housing, schools, arts, sports, public safety, mobility, and caring for all are decision-making points when corporations consider where to locate and expand.

If we’re listening, the Guild is telling us that investments in talent, infrastructure, and community development will be rewarded with inbound moves and businesses and jobs staying, growing, and starting here.

To learn more about the DRC’s Prosperity & Economic Development work, visit our website.