The Site Selectors Guild has released findings of its 2021 survey on corporate location trends and consultants project a sharp increase in site selection activity. According to the survey, 80% of consultants say companies will move forward with site selection projects this year, up from 65% in June, though workforce challenges remain such as skilled labor shortages and new opportunities for remote work. Ginovus Managing Director Larry Gigerich calls the projections “a great sign for the economy.”
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Gigerich said Indiana is well positioned to take advantage of the growth in site selection, particularly in manufacturing and logistics.
“Our geographic position or location, so to speak, is outstanding when you look at manufacturing and logistics,” he said. “The fact we’ve invested so heavily in our road infrastructure in our state has been a very important thing and that will yield dividends for us, and we’ve had a talent pool to support both manufacturing and distribution for a long period of time. All those position us well I think to have success in that space.”
Gigerich says the industrial sector could be one of the bigger sectors in terms of site selection activity in 2021 for a couple of reasons.
“COVID really has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and shopping activities because so many people were forced, when COVID hit, to do more shopping that way,” said Gigerich. So I think that, along with companies just continuing to reevaluate their supply chain and where they make product and where they distribute from, along with meeting that last mile of delivery, is something that’s really important.”
Gigerich says the office market will see some “choppiness” as businesses figure out how employees who are currently working remotely transition back to in-person work. He says many companies are considering a hybrid model with employees spending some time working remotely.
The main challenge, Gigerich adds, is finding the skilled workforce needed to support more corporate relocation to Indiana even as the state’s unemployment rate continues to improve.
“Lots of shortages continue for skilled workers and really, we’re facing also an issue of people who have left the workforce who may not come back,” he said. “And I think that’s going to be really interesting to watch how it affects talent in Indiana going forward.”
Despite the challenges, Gigerich says he is optimistic about Indiana’s situation, particularly coming out of the pandemic.