Innovation in economic development marketing:

How a small rural county promotes its advantages to attract talent and businesses

Photo of Dave Parsell
Dave Parsell
July 26, 2023

Adams County, PA has a lot going for it. The rural county has a population of just over 100,000. Uniquely positioned in South Central Pennsylvania, several major US and Canadian cities (including Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Toronto) are within a day’s drive, giving Adams County easy access to 40% of the US population and 60% of the Canadian population.

The Northeast region is the most economically significant region in the country, responsible for 20% of the nation’s GDP. This is a huge location advantage that the Alliance has embraced and woven into their elevator pitch to communicate with their target audience.

Through “Adams Intel”, the Alliance provides a comprehensive one-stop-shop resource to drive engagement on their site and showcase the County’s unique location advantage across key topics such as quality of life, accessibility, workforce, talent pipeline and more. Adams Intel has been created by embedding 7 of Localintel’s industry-leading economic development tools on to a single webpage within the Alliance’s website.

Promoting Quality of Life Advantages

The Alliance was the first organisation in the US to roll out Localintel's Quality of Life Advantages tool. As people all over North America re-evaluate where they live, work and play the Quality of Life Advantages tool enables users from all stages of life to picture themselves moving, living and thriving in Adams County. By embedding the innovative tool into their website, the County provides an effective, visual way to promote the community’s advantages to attract new talent, including remote workers.

Showcasing Location Advantages

Localintel’s Logistics and Accessibility Advantages tool was the perfect way for the alliance to show site selectors, businesses and professionals how connected the county is by air, land and sea. Within seconds of engaging with the tool, the user learns that the county has easy access to the following:

  • Major international airports including Philadelphia International with 87 Domestic and 35 International connections); Newark with72 Domestic and 81 International connections; and JFK with57 Domestic and 105 International connections.
  • A large number of major cities within a 4-hour drive from Adams County, including: Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Washington DC and Pittsburgh.
  • 9 Major Sea ports within a 4-hour drive
  • Substantial rail and intermodal network connecting all of the above across the entire Northeast region

Sharing Essential Demographics  

An integral component to any location intelligence resource is presenting key indicators that site selector’s, businesses or professional’s need to know to help with their decision-making process.

Adams Intel uses Localintel’s Community Profile to present these essential indicators via an easy to use interactive dashboard. Educating the user on the economy, residents, households, dwellings, construction activity, workforce and livability.

Understanding the economic climate via the Community Profile is the first step. The team at the Alliance went one step further by adding Localintel’s Market Advantages tool which enables both existing businesses and those looking to relocate or expand to analyze their addressable market by consumer attributes, dwelling type and established local businesses.

Workforce & Talent Pipeline

Employers in Adams County can leverage a broad workforce both within and outside the county boundaries and across the state line into Maryland, the 2nd most educated state in the US. The Workforce Advantages tool shows the educational attainment, occupation, industry of residents and where these individuals are concentrated in and around the county.

Fueling the workforce is a key consideration for businesses looking to locate and grow. Although Gettysburg College is the only college in the county, within a 4-hour drive from Adams County there is a wealth of higher education institutions (including an Ivy League University) covering all STEM disciplines.

This is beautifully represented by Localintel’s Talent Pipeline Advantages tools that employers can use to appreciate the opportunity Adams County presents when it comes to accessing talent.

We trust you’ve found this article useful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us should you have any questions.

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