SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with Alina Harastasanu from JobsOhioApril 11, 2022
Link to podcast found HERE
Transcript to podcast found below:
Bill : Hi, and welcome to the next episode of belly to belly. And today we’re going to be talking about how to best prepare for select the USA. coming up in June and in Washington DC and we’re joined by Alina from, from jobs Ohio and Alina, it’s great to see you. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen each other. Welcome to the belly to belly podcast.
Alina : Thank you, Bill for having me aboard your wonderful both. Happy to be here.
Bill : Thank you. Well, it’s always good to have additional passengers for sure. So we want to kind of attend to our items today. So jobs Ohio, how you guys are amazing. And I know our audience and we’re filled. Our audience are all companies that are interested in expanding to the US and can you share what jobs Ohio does to help companies get traction and be successful in Ohio?
Alina : Sure. Um, so we are a private non for profit, we carry basically the same functions as your regular investment promotion organization that you would be familiar with abroad. All our services to companies are absolutely free. And cherry on top of the cake, we also manage the financial incentives of the state for businesses that want to locate or expand in the state. I personally work exclusively with European companies. And there’s a wide range of things that we can do for them, I get in front of them sometimes very early in their decision making process. Other times, they’re in a relatively more advanced state. But if it’s the first, so, a more incipient stage, we help them you know, for with everything that means informing the decision making process. So, research support that would the you know, yield the those numbers that would go into an NPV or an IRR or whatever model the company is using to decide on the feasibility of the project. So it would be, you know, cost and availability of, of labor costs of real estate, taxation, everything that has, you know, a numeric value that can be plotted and potentially benchmarked against other other states, if needed. If there multiple states into consideration, we would provide benchmark information as well against those states. We assist with permits, we introduce companies to service providers, whether that’s lawyers, accountants, tax taxation, people, developers, you name it, we can connect you. We also have a very rich real estate database that can be accessed. It’s very, not only reached but very up to date. We have some 4000, I think between sites and buildings, on it right now, so definitely, there’s a benefit of the choice. As far as the financial services are concerned, or the financial incentives are concerned, think of them three buckets, so the tax credits, low interest loans, and grants. And really, between the three and especially the grants, there’s a wide range of eligible activities and expenses that the companies can allocate those to towards whether it’s the actual fixed asset or it’s the software parcel the workforce development. But I guess the most value they feel in recent times has been a service that we develop the towards talent acquisition, which why is this important and why do international companies value value this? We’ve seen more and more companies being worried about their ability international companies about their ability to attract and maintain people. So we are in a 4% unemployment rate. So they rightfully ask, Well, why would people come to work for a name that they haven’t heard of, as opposed to a company down the street that, you know, their, their cousin, their friend has word, they know how they treat their people. So we work with a company basically to build that employer branding. But on top of that, you know, the talent attraction part the talent sourcing, the training, the pre screening, everything is done by jobs Ohio with with its regional partners, to the point where we become the company’s proxy HR department and the company’s able to focus on you know, ramping up their operations and less about the HR component, if you will, this is a, a short to medium term solution, we would do this for up to 18 months of the of the project after which, you know, the local communities have programs that can help ensure the long sustainability of, of this. So this is kind of in a nutshell, I guess, the, the, our services and our financial incentives. And obviously, companies valued them differently based on how large they are based on how ready they are to pull the trigger on this. But obviously, all of this is on the table for international companies.
Bill : Wow, it’s great to hear the about the support you’re now giving in terms of building the team, because that’s obviously a huge and growing concern for companies so can gratulations on that. So let’s switch over to select USA, and maybe talk for a minute specifically on that. And that’s actually an event where you and I originally met several years back, and maybe you could share a little bit about it again, our audience likely hasn’t been to select USA yet. So they don’t know much about it. But why does jobs Ohio participate, what’s important to you in terms of participating?
Alina : So select USA is, if you will, the Oscars of our industry. So everybody converges to Washington, DC. And by everyone, I mean, not only the state level economic development organizations such as ourselves, but also regional economic development, organization, sometimes even local economic development organizations, all the service, I guess, providers, so for us, it’s, it’s incredibly important to meet with these international companies, as they are refining their, their their choice, we, we want to make sure that we are on the consideration file. And for us, I guess, you know, we struggle with the fact that international companies know very little about the Midwest or about Ohio, there’s a greater knowledge of the East Coast, obviously, New York, Boston, of the West Coast, but and maybe maybe the city of Chicago, but everything in between is a little bit of a blur, and we want to rectify that and just the present value proposition of the state in all the nine plus one sectors that we we promote and that are very present in the in in the state. So I mean, this is not our first point of contact I make it my my point to meet with these companies in occasion of the Select us the micro Select USA is I guess that happen ahead, I guess the recruiting session of this for this event. So that by the time these companies come we don’t waste anybody’s time and you know, if there’s a match and a good fit, we can continue the conversation. If not, they can, they can shop around and learn more about other other organizations and other states.
Bill : Now that’s fantastic. So you call it the Oscars of US market entry. That’s interesting. Somebody a week ago or so called it the Super Bowl. So I think there are all sorts of good metaphors. The
Alina : American football goes over my head.
Bill : Yeah, the World Cup then. Yeah, um, so you So, the last question I have is you know, these companies may not have been to the US yet not not only not just select USA but how would you suggest you know, you’ve been to the event obviously several times how would you suggest companies get the most out of the experience and I think both of coming to select USA obviously there are lots of components of it, how do they get prepared and take advantage of it but then maybe even pre and post event while they’re in the US or there’s some suggestions you’d have for them
Alina : yes, so don’t get me wrong this is gonna seem incredibly overwhelming event for for these companies one because of the sheer number of of people that are going to be there from the receiving and I guess that are going to propose themselves to them it’s very hard in this phase I guess to assess you know, the the true fate of one state or or another I would say come with an open mind do some research beforehand you know, get your options one through fifth but five but come with an open mind because chances are there’s more there than then than you initially thought about. But this is just you know, dipping your feet into the water you need to establish a relationship with with the state and the communities and you’ll be surprised how much there is to learn about you know, what’s what’s behind I guess, a logo or behind the, you know, some some original conceptions that you had about a place there are spinoff events so to the extent that you’re interested in in a particular you already know you’re interested in a particular place and they might organize off spin off events the week after the Select USA so definitely worth planning a little bit more time to spend in the in the in the US you know get as many cards as you can and then you know plan to do a lot of follow up after that.
Bill : I love it. That’s really good. Good advice so yeah be open minded Yeah, cuz I think your point about the there there’s a lot of education in terms of the regional strengths of different parts of the country and what different states have to offer and and all that so no, I think really wise advice and probably comfortable shoes as well as
Alina : Absolutely. Not only for walking the floor of the actual event but most of the state organize you know, a night or happy hour or something where you can we can you can connect further and they tend to be pretty fun. Ohio will be hosting one So Bill, I hope that we are on your dance card. So looking forward to seeing everyone with their comfortable shoes. Nice.
Bill : Yes, get some rest before but yeah, count me in Alina, for sure. This has been great. And I’m sensitive to our audience’s time. But this has been great to chat with you Alina and I want to encourage your audience to both like and subscribe so you can stay tuned for additional information and preparing for select USA and other great topics about being successful in the US. So thank you so much, Alina for taking the time with us today.
Alina : Thank you, Bill. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
Bill : Excellent. Thank you