Companies are becoming more sophisticated in how they think about their operating footprint and the cities in which they operate, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Large cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles continue to be desirable locations for companies given industry clustering, access to capital, and size of the labor markets. While companies have historically located transactional operations in second and third-tier cities, given technology and where highly skilled Millennials live they are increasingly migrating higher order operations.
Boston-based Jeff Lessard, a Senior Managing Director of Strategic Consulting at Cushman & Wakefield, recently contributed insights to a Forbes article that listed the best places for business and careers in the U.S.
“Location has always been on the agenda for operating executives, but it’s now a C-Suite and Board-level issue. Human Capital and Operating Efficiencies are consistently the top challenges for CEOs, and where a company is located significantly affects both,” Mr. Lessard said.
Millennial Talent Pool
The cities that came out on top in the Forbes list were generally those that were successful in attracting and retaining millennial talent. Mr. Lessard explained that most of his clients prioritize a highly educated millennial demographic in their searches.
“In addition to being an excellent source of trainable labor, highly educated millennials provide cities with the type of vibrancy and creativity that companies are increasingly seeking,” he stated.
Mr. Lessard works with companies from all parts of the United States, but he said that location strategy is of particular interest to companies with operations in Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and California. These states have high labor costs, burdensome business regulations, and high taxes.
Top of the Forbes List: Denver
Denver made the top of the Forbes list for a second consecutive year, an outcome not surprising to Denver-based Todd Wheeler, Vice Chairman, Cushman & Wakefield.
“Denver is the hot spot for millennial talent right now. Jobs are at a historic high and are expanding across almost the entire spectrum – from leisure and hospitality to construction to professional and business services,” Mr. Wheeler said. “The startup community is building and the tech core sector makes up 7.9% of the total jobs in Denver.”
Mr. Wheeler cited the mix of work opportunities, recreational activities and a bustling nightlife, which is boosted by the tourism dollar and locals’ discretionary income, as contributors to the city’s attractiveness to the millennial workforce. He noted that another plus is the fairly easy commute within the Denver area.
“Denver has opened a direct train line from the airport to Union Station that is a welcome draw, connecting not only the airport with the CBD but also to our massive light rail system already in place.”
Read the Forbes articles featuring Jeff Lessard, Cushman & Wakefield, below:
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Jeff Lessard is a Senior Managing Director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Strategic Consulting Group. He specializes in the development of headquarters, location, workplace, and regional master plan strategies. Mr. Lessard is an executive fiduciary for Cushman & Wakefield’s 401(k) plan and writes a weekly email newsletter on real estate, technology, architecture, design, and economics. He has a B.A. with Honors from Colgate University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.