As we enter a new year, Arizona’s labor force and economy faces its steepest competition not only from international rivals who have been the recipients of the outsourcing trend of the last decade, but also from domestic large and mid-sized metropolitan areas that are using economic incentives and training grant programs for their benefit to lure businesses and encourage expansion.
One group serving as a valuable resource for Arizona in this competition is the Economic Incentives Advisory Group (EIAG), a consulting organization that helps its clients with qualifying for government sponsored business incentives, training grants, site selection and economic incentive research services. EIAG works with mid-size businesses, Fortune 500 companies and companies with as few as 30 employees. To make Arizona’s labor force more competitive, they have aligned with IBM to help facilitate and implement IBM’s Academic Initiatives partnership at community colleges across the Valley. They have also assisted IBM throughout the years with identifying government incentives related to job creation and skills advancement.
“Arizona does not face a ‘job shortage’ but a ‘deficiency in the right type of skill set shortage,’” says Bryant Colman, managing principal at EIAG. “We have lost the U.S. advantage, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These IBM educational initiatives do a phenomenal job educating our workers, which in turn makes Arizona a more attractive state for businesses.”
Both EIAG and IBM have been vocal in expressing ideas to the state and key officials in how to create incentive programs that will help existing businesses thrive and make Arizona a more attractive place for expansion. In fact, over the past 10 years, EIAG’s executive team has secured over $700 million in government grants, tax credits and other business incentives. By identifying and securing these government incentives for clients, EIAG is helping to create an environment of economic growth in Arizona.
The Academic Initiative covers a variety of areas and programs, including: business intelligence, business analytics, business process management, certifications, cloud computing, databases, enterprise hardware and predictive analysis. The resources IBM provides have no-charge to access their technology and tools–which include hundreds of software programs, course materials and curriculums.
The critical need for these needed skills was on display when Dell Computers received 10,000 applications for 100 jobs at their distribution center but could only find a handful of qualified applicants for their software engineer positions.
“U.S. students are not accepting the challenge and majoring in math, science and technology fields like other countries where H1-B employees are being recruited to fill positions that are in demand in this country. And today we are seeing the results during this international labor competition. Our skills are lacking. Corporate America simply cannot meet their demand in finding technology workers, and this is a gap we need to bridge,” says Colman. “There are too many jobs we cannot fill in the U.S., and it will take consultants like EIAG, cooperation from state officials, educational institutions and businesses like IBM to work together to successfully address the problem.”
About Economics Incentives Advisory Group:
Economic Incentives Advisory Group is a national firm specializing in identifying, securing and managing tax credits, government grants and related programs for national and international companies. Over past 10 years, the EIAG executive team has secured over $700 million in government grants, tax credits and other business incentives. EIAG leads the state of Arizona in grant projects completed. The executive team assists organizations of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 50 companies to small businesses, obtain and manage millions of dollars in government incentive programs. EIAG provides companies with the research, tools and management expertise needed to obtain the maximum benefit in the most efficient manner.
Pictured (L-R): Bryant Colman of EIAG and Terry Hansen of IBM