Research

Place Value: How Communities Attract, Grow, and Keep Jobs and Talent in the Rocky Mountain West

A Fresh Approach to Economic Development in the West

Why are people and businesses drawn to particular communities in the Rocky Mountain West? What are the qualities of a place that attract talented workers or entrepreneurs? What characteristics are businesses seeking from their communities? How can communities retain jobs and talent? Our 2015 report, Place Value, explores these and other questions, drawing on the views of business owners and residents throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

Place Value comes as many communities seek new approaches to economic development that respond to changing market and fiscal realities. What people are seeking from their jobs and communities is also changing. Many people prioritize quality of life over other factors—including higher pay or better employment opportunities—in decisions about where to live, work, or start a business. At the same time, technology and the growth of knowledge-based industries allow people and businesses far greater flexibility in where they locate. Yet for many communities, high cost of living, long commutes, and limited employment opportunities are barriers to attracting and retaining a talented workforce.

Building a strong and resilient economy starts with creating a great community where people want to live and work.

The results of this study, based on a survey of nearly 1,000 employers and community members in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, show that building a strong and resilient economy starts with creating a great community where people want to live and work. Both business owners and community members overwhelmingly value community quality above other relevant factors, like salary or tax structure, when choosing a place to live or start a business.

Click below to view and download the Place Value report and brochure.

Place Value Report

PLACE VALUE BROCHURE

  • Economy
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  • Land Use
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