STRATEGIC PLAN ITEMS
The need for a talented workforce is a priority for businesses and regions as they compete in the twenty-first century. Regions with large pools of talent and creativity are expected to achieve higher levels of economic growth. BRAC recognized this need as a component of its regional economic development strategy, and included talent development as one of the six components of its five-year strategic campaign, The Creative Capital Agenda. The talent development aspect of BRAC’s work is focused on identifying and attracting experienced mid-level to senior-level professionals, retaining college graduates, and enhancing the quality of life necessary to retain and attract people.
Talent development program: execute a regional talent retention and attraction program and begin providing support to regional firms and economic development prospects
The mission of the talent development program is to retain and attract human capital to meet the needs of Baton Rouge area businesses. To accomplish this, BRAC has instituted a number of strategies and programs such as developing corporate talent services, creating a talent repository, promoting the professional jobs available within the area, and working with regional businesses to educate current and prospective hires on the assets of the region, among other things. Together, these efforts are known as BRAC’s Regional Relocation Resources program, or R3.
Talent database: build a resume database of out-of-state professionals who would be willing to relocate for the right position
The R3 program described above requires access to talented professionals. BRAC has developed an internal, searchable database of resumes from people outside the region, who would be interested in locating or relocating in the Baton Rouge area. Through R3, BRAC acts as an intermediary between companies and talent in order to assist both. BRAC has signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with alumni groups representing LSU and Southern University, as well as high school alumni programs for Baton Rouge High School, McKinley High School, LSU Laboratory School, and Episcopal High School. The goal of these MOUs is to promote BRAC’s talent database to out-of-state alumni who might be interested in returning for a career in the Baton Rouge area.
Region-wide internship program: facilitate an increase of available internships through the Baton Rouge Area Internship Network (BRAIN)
Internships provide a valuable experience builder for college students. They also develop a sturdy pipeline of talent for area companies and allow students to view the wide range of opportunities available to them within the region. Through BRAIN, BRAC will work to increase the number of internships offered by assisting companies in creating or developing internships and promoting the internships to students.
Young professionals: engage leaders under forty-years-old in the future direction of BRAC and BRAC’s policy agenda
BRAC believes that the insights of the next generation of leaders are crucial to its ability to make proper policy decisions. To accomplish this, BRAC will work with Forum 35 and other organizations to actively foster dialogue with those leaders and potential leaders under the age of forty and use that information to formulate our policy agenda.
Orientation about the Baton Rouge area for newcomers: launch a program to provide an introduction and overview about different features of community life for newcomers
In its research for the talent program, BRAC identified a best practice for talent services that is designed to make the community feel welcoming and accessible to employees and families who have moved here. Entitled “Baton Rouge Area: Behind the Scenes”, BRAC is launching a new initiative to provide an orientation and introduction to all things in the Baton Rouge area.
Baton Rouge Leadership Program: execute an annual professional development program for established and emerging business and community leaders
Since 1985, BRAC has been developing a cadre of potential community leaders. In those twenty-seven years, the Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program has produced close to one thousand graduates who have gone on to participate on boards and commissions, and hold both state and local public offices. This program investigates personal and team leadership dynamics and invites participants to review and debate the strengths and weaknesses of various institutions and policy areas in the region. BRAC continues to lead this popular developmental program.
Focus on talent: access to world-class human capital will accelerate the development of high-performing companies and the region
Economists such as Richard Florida, author of Rise of the Creative Class, have documented the economic importance of creative, talented workers to a region’s economy. In order for the Capital Region to continue its economic success, it will need to retain and attract the high-level talent that local companies need to compete globally. Many regions with which the Baton Rouge area competes, also identify talent as one of their most important areas of strategic focus. With its talent development efforts, BRAC’s program will complement the HR recruitment efforts of regional companies, startups, and our economic development prospects by working hand-in-hand with them as they try to fill open positions for mid-level to senior level executives.
Public parks and recreational amenities: support regional recreation and park organizations, including The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC), in efforts to upgrade public parks and recreational amenities in the Baton Rouge area
Businesses and individuals evaluate numerous “quality of life” factors in determining a location to call home. Impressive public parks and recreational amenities are a significant component of “quality of life” evaluations and a component over which local governments have significant control. Efforts to maintain and improve the Baton Rouge area’s public parks, including the establishment of signature parks with unique and compelling assets will make the region more competitive in attracting and retaining talented workers and high-wage businesses.
Tolerance, diversity, and community mindset: support programs, ordinances, and initiatives that set a progressive, inclusive, community tone and ensure that key organizations and leaders are aligned to create positive change
The most vibrant economies in the U.S. increasingly are those that have learned to embrace diversity and maintain an optimistic, inclusive vision for their community, while always remaining receptive to change. These intangibles can have a major impact on economic development, talent retention and attraction, as well as community pride and commitment to enact positive change. Moreover, discrimination can have an adverse effect on community growth. EBR has an executive order protecting employment discrimination that has governed through the last two administrations that should be codified in ordinance.
Attractiveness of public spaces: encourage cities and parishes in the Baton Rouge area to improve the attractiveness of their communities by establishing well-maintained green spaces
Businesses, individuals, and site-selection consultants evaluate communities using a number of factors, both objective and subjective. Initial impressions, often determined during “drive-by” experiences, can impact company decisions on where to relocate and individual decisions on where to live. By maintaining attractive green public spaces across the region, including urban areas, the Baton Rouge area can ensure that it makes great first impressions when decision-makers are evaluating our community.
Arts and cultural amenities: support the development of artistic and cultural infrastructure in the Baton Rouge area
Successful metro economies are increasingly marked by a high degree of artistic activity and cultural amenities that attract young, educated professionals and knowledge-based companies alike. Research by the Knight Foundation has shown that community attributes have a significant effect on talent retention. By encouraging positive actions and celebrating those who make a difference (e.g., artists, philanthropists, developers), the Capital Region can create momentum and public support for the development of artistic and cultural assets that accentuate our unique regional character and history.
Download » BRAC's 2013 Strategic Plan