Planning for Talent

Planning for Talent: Creating places where people want to work.

Amy Williams, AICP, and Katie Clark, PLA, FASLA explore strategies for talent recruitment and retention at the 2022 OKI Conference in Louisville, KY.

While cities used to try to lure whole companies and support development to their community to add jobs, workers, and residents to the economy, we are currently seeing a shift in this long-range strategy. Today, with the acceptance that remote work is here to stay, many communities are focusing instead on how to attract talented individuals and families to their area by focusing on the systems and amenities they need to prosper.

The idea of ‘Talent planning’ is requiring us to think differently about what a community needs for the future. Instead of thinking about future development from a land-use perspective, which often focuses on development type, infrastructure impacts, and available incentives, talent planning emphasizes an individual and the programs, activities, and resources they need to remain content and successful in a given place.

While investments in community programs and improvements such as education, parks, restaurants, and trails are not new, the prioritization of these local and regional community amenities takes a strategic and collaborative process to ensure successful implementation.

In the state of Indiana, talent attraction and retention has taken center stage through the implementation of the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Through the lens of two separate READI regions, in this session, we will explore the collaborative, integrated, and comprehensive process needed to think strategically about attracting, retaining, and enhancing your community’s local talent pool.


This session is not a deep dive into the READI program but instead will offer a comparison of community and regional planning processes, stakeholder engagement efforts, and public-private partnerships that are being used to attract and retain talent. A facilitated question and answer session will round out the program to allow session attendees to pose questions about their own community to gain additional input on appropriate next steps. The primary objective of the session is for participants to leave knowing how they can incorporate talent planning efforts within their community.


Talent Planning Slides
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