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Research Triangle Region's Hayes Participates in Elite Gathering of Site Selection Pros


Site Selectors Guild Meeting Offers Inside View on How Companies Zero in on New Locations

Charles HayesResearch Triangle Region, N.C. (March 2, 2015)Charles Hayes, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), participated in the annual conference of the Site Selectors Guild, a professional association of top location advisors representing major corporations from the U.S. and abroad. The conference, held February 23-25, 2015, in San Juan, P.R., also included a limited number of economic development leaders.

“Building and maintaining relationships with leading site selection consultants is a top priority for our organization and our region,” Hayes said, “and the Site Selectors Guild offers direct insight into how these professionals serve their clients and, in turn, how organizations like ours can best work with consultants.”

Contact with location advisors is increasingly vital for economic developers as they seek to attract new employers, support the expansion of existing ones and grow jobs. In a 2014 survey of site selection consultants by Area Development magazine, about 25 percent reported that clients often rely on them not just for advice but, indeed, to make the final call on their location choices. Consistent and effective outreach to the consulting community, however, can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming for county and municipal economic development organizations. Thus, a regionally orchestrated program of consultant contact is a more efficient strategy. “Ongoing efforts to meet face-to-face with leading site consultants and talk about the Research Triangle Region was the number one action-item arising from our strategic planning retreat last year,” Hayes said. “Our local economic development partners made it clear that this is a challenge and an opportunity that needs to be embraced on a regional basis.”

About 150 consultants and economic development representatives attended the gathering of the Site Selectors Guild. Guest presenters there included executives from Hanes Brands, Citi and Owens Corning, each of whom described in detail the process guiding their most recent site searches. Other sessions discussed supply-chain factors in site selection, the tools consultants use in conducting due-diligence and the characteristics of competitive communities.  

Founded in 2010, The Site Selectors Guild works to advance the global corporate site selection profession through education, networking and other services. The Illinois-based group builds links between site-selection firms and businesses needing guidance on facility placement. The Guild also promotes dialogue and understanding between consultants and economic development organizations at the local, state and regional levels. “Location choices are increasingly data driven, and that places a premium on organizations like RTRP to gather and organize regional information in a way that is relevant, reliable and timely,” Hayes said. “Consultants are key influencers of location choices, but they need us just like we need them,” he said. “It’s a two-way street.”

About The Research Triangle Regional Partnership

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) provides marketing and strategic economic development coordination for North Carolina's Research Triangle Region, an area that includes includes Chatham, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Nash, Moore, Person, Vance, Warren, Wake and Wilson counties, as well as Research Triangle Park. The private, non-profit organization also administers the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and Triangle Air Awareness. RTRP comprises economic development organizations that represent a wide range of partners to ensure the region remains economically competitive at a global level. Among its many distinctions, RTRP received the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Award for Excellence in Economic Department Regional Competitiveness Strategic Planning.  For more information, visit www.researchtriangle.org or follow on Twitter @TriangleRegion.

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