Taking Kansas City from humble to hot spot
The Kansas City Star
The single most pressing question companies are asking today as they consider regions for expansion or relocation is: Can this region help our company recruit and retain talent better than anywhere else?
As a region, we are recognized among the best in the country at marketing the business case: the availability of sites or buildings, reasonable taxation, state and local incentives, moderate costs of doing business, cost effective construction and competitive transportation costs. Kansas City has it all.
In order to win today, we also have to make the best lifestyle case.
Where are the best neighborhoods and schools? Where can people catch a great band or an award-winning meal? What are the volunteer opportunities so people can contribute to their community as well as their company? Are there quality art museums and other cultural amenities? Is the city safe and affordable?
Don’t get me wrong; the business case still matters.
If we can’t make the business case, our region will never have a chance to tout our great lifestyle.
So the new question we have been asking ourselves is: Can Kansas City evolve from being humble and apologetic to taking bold steps to create a hot spot for young, educated and creative people?
We regularly hear from companies both within our region and those considering a major investment in Kansas City that they need an ally in the battle to recruit and retain the best talent possible.
A talented employee needs to not only fall in love with an employer but also needs to fall in love with a city.
While for many people making a living comes first, for an increasing number of people, especially those most in demand, making a life comes first.
And that means a great place to live.
We used to call this “Quality of Life” but most every city has what its people believe to be a high “Quality of Life.” That’s because too often the phrase simply means “I like where I live.”
But are bright, talented, in-demand people, often young people, choosing to live there? We must be a hot spot of energy, diversity, great jobs, great arts, a unique culture and an attitude that says “we are so proud of this place.”
Over the last seven years, KCADC has worked closely with area companies to assist them in making the case for Kansas City as a lifestyle destination.
Through a broad program of products and services we have helped to win over summer interns, new hires and seasoned executives on the lifestyle assets of our KC region.
And it works just as well for companies we are recruiting. Our first time CEO guests are often amazed at the region we have created — a city of surprisingly beautiful elegance, passionately embracing life-long residents and new citizens alike, and offering a competitive advantage in the race for talent.
Now, we need your help. At KCADC we pulled together all the pieces that tell the story of the creative energy, culture and people that make Kansas City a lifestyle hot spot … America’s Creative Crossroads.
Through widespread social media, compelling video, stunning photography, national publicity and energetic events, we are telling the personal stories of talented, creative people that have chosen Kansas City to build their business, practice their craft, nurture their career or put down roots.
So, if you are looking for a way to celebrate what you love about Kansas City and broadcast it to a national or global audience, go to kccreativecrossroads.com.
Everything you need is right there waiting for you.
Today it’s all about the next hot spot for talent.
Join us and let’s turn up the heat.
Bob Marcusse, president and CEO Kansas City Area Development Council, lives in Lenexa, Kan.