Cincinnati’s “Advancing Global Competitiveness” strategic plan (pp. 56-58) outlines a recommendation for establishing a concierge service to seamlessly connect foreign investors and firms with the professional and personal services that they need. Professional services can take on a wide range of activities such as customized workforce training assistance, to help with banking, or provide guidance on identifying suppliers. Similarly, personal services can range from helping with immigration-related matters, family member adjustment regarding cultural norms, spouse job search assistance, and school enrollment. The Cincinnati plan excerpt provides five specific steps that Cincinnati is taking, and other regions can adapt to customize the approach for local circumstances.
Recommendation 1: Support and promote the digital workforce portal currently being developed by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber that will showcase job opportunities and resources for job seekers and employers.
Recommendation 2: Coordinate digital FDI resources across regional entities. For example, the FDI resource guide developed as part of this report (see the Appendix for a summary of entities that support FDI attraction and retention in the region) could become the foundation for a regularly updated online directory of partners prepared to help foreign firms and investors enter and scale in the region. Regional entities could collaborate to keep the directory up to date and make it a primary reference for the firms and investors that they are assisting.
Recommendation 3: Partner with local cultural organizations to host welcome events for foreign firms and investors and promote knowledge-sharing between them.
Recommendation 4: Identify and secure funding through grants, corporate sponsorships, etc. for a concierge program or position to provide wrap around services to a company for 3-6 months after they decide to locate in the region to help with green cards, driver’s license, banking, legal services, taxes, etc.
Recommendation 5: Build upon the best practices of workforce initiatives currently taking place in the Cincinnati region (as identified in the Region’s Workforce Needs section) to tailor programs to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, especially middle market companies.