Business Leaders Discuss Attracting Talent to Area

by | Feb 6, 2024 | News

The newly formed Blair County Alliance for Business and Economic Growth was honored to welcome Winona Dimeo-Ediger as our inaugural keynote presenter at our first ever annual meeting held January 26, 2024. Winona gave a passionate engaging presentation focused on attracting talent in a new way to our region. Below is an excerpt of the article on her presentation at the event as it appeared in the January 27, 2024 edition of The Altoona Mirror by Matt Churella:

A former journalist who became a nationally recognized consultant in operating talent attraction was the keynote speaker for the Blair County Alliance for Business and Economic Growth’s annual meeting Friday in the Blair County Convention Center.

Winona Dimeo-Ediger, co-founder and chief creative officer of national talent attraction agency RoleCall, said she learned to be “unabashedly curious” as a journalist and “it’s OK to also be a little annoying.”

She said these traits helped her immensely when pivoting careers into economic development because she learned how to understand the needs of communities and industries.

Dimeo-Ediger said she and her husband decided to move to Nashville after falling in love with the city during a weekend trip they took in 2013.

Dimeo-Ediger said attracting talent doesn’t require massive incentives, and new residents are enthusiastic explorers and local spenders who provide a positive view of the community, shifting internal attitudes of current residents.

“If you have ever followed a person on social media who moved to a new place and are excited about it, you know that they never shut up about it,” Dimeo-Ediger said.

Attracting new residents requires a clear, proactive invitation to future residents, such as, “We’re better with you here,” she said.

Altoona Blair County Development Corp. President/CEO Stephen McKnight said last year the ABCD Corp. financed 51 expansion projects, totaling more than $29 million in community investment and creating 157 new jobs.

The county needs people to move here, work here and invest here, he told a packed room of about 300 alliance members.

“If each of us here in this room took on the task of attracting just two people to our community each year for the next five years, we could reverse the outward migration trend we currently face in our economy and our community, so get to work,” McKnight said.

There are some communities that have made updates to their websites and still don’t find success in attracting new talents because they don’t make proactive and direct invitations, according to Dimeo-Ediger.

“Talent attraction is marketing, but it’s not a pair of shoes,” she said. “We’re selling a new life, job opportunities and community.”

Managed By Cassus Media