Armed with valuable economic, demographic and labor market information, you can strengthen partnerships with economic development entities and target your regional investments in areas that will increase your community's prosperity.

Two Different Approaches for Community Prosperity

There are two major approaches to community growth through economic and workforce development, and while they overlap, they also differ.

Economic developers are primarily concerned with recruiting new businesses and helping other businesses expand into their region.  By drawing in new establishments, particularly those industries that sell to, or serve, customers outside of the region, they can bring additional revenue into an area through exporting services or products.

Workforce developers are primarily engaged in helping existing businesses expand, and in assisting small and medium-sized businesses meet workforce and training challenges they face in order to retain them in the region.  By supporting existing businesses, workforce intermediaries can ensure that there is sustained economic activity to support a community, and ensure employment opportunities for residents.

 Two Approaches for Economic Growth

Source of diagram:  Texas Workforce Commission, Labor Market and Career Information Department

What Data do You Use?

There is a wide range of data available for labor market planning purposes to determine a region needing intervention or an area that would benefit from specific economic development initiatives.

Some of the types of data you can consider include:

  • shared labor sheds and worker commuting patterns
  • poverty, unemployment, and demographic characteristics
  • business development and permitting trends
  • export revenue in key industry sectors
  • small business support and start-up business assistance
  • building reutilization and urban revitalization plans
  • data on business establishment counts
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) efforts
  • entrepreneurship and rural development initiatives
  • other economic indicators and descriptors, etc.

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Economic Development Administration Tools

A range of EDA-funded data tools can help provide data on the conditions of regions, which can help inform strategic planning, regional initiatives, and community development decision-making.              

CareerOneStop's Business Center

Find professional associations with this online tool to get industry trends and input on projects that expand and diversify your local economy.

Economic Development Dual Strategies

Source of diagram:  Texas Workforce Commission, Labor Market and Career Information Department