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Episode 34 - Trish Adams Transcript


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Chad Chancellor: Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the Next Move Group We Are Jobs podcast. This is Chad Chancellor, co-founder of Next Move Group. Today, I’ve got Trish Adams with us today and she has her own podcast. So, we're going to be simulcasting today, but she's sitting in New Orleans. We’re doing this in my New Orleans studio. So, I said I get to be the one to talk first, Trish. So, now I’ll let you do your normal introduction.

Trish Adams: Chad, thank you so much for having me on your podcast and I’m excited for our listeners on the East Kentucky Works podcast to hear this as well. I am Trish Adams and I am the industry liaison for the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program and we are the workforce development agency for a 23-county region in Eastern Kentucky.

Chad Chancellor: Yes. Talk about what you all have done. I watch from a far and Chuck Sexton is there. He’s close to me and I’ve watched really how he's recruited companies and he's used some tremendous workforce data. You all have been able to show how people that were in the coal mining business how they can transfer to other industries. So, just talk about all that stuff you all have done and, not only the studies you've done but how it's turned out to make real success.

Trish Adams: Great. Thank you so much, Chad. Yes. When Chuck Sexton first came on board as president and CEO of One East Kentucky, which is the nine-county economic development firm, so when he first came on board, he called us up and he said hey, do we have any data to talk about the workforce in Eastern Kentucky and we’re like no, we don't have that, but we need that. We need to find out where we need to implement trainings for employers and things like that.

So, we worked on the East Kentucky Works study with Boyette Strategic Advisors out of Arkansas and we've got some really good data that shows in Eastern Kentucky that we have an available skilled workforce. So, Chuck is working tirelessly to use that as a selling tool to recruit new industry and he's having some successes.

Chad Chancellor: Yes, yes. Well, and I read the study and I think it was done by Del Boyette’s outfit and they do great work and what it showed is coal miner, which I think you got 10,000 or 15,000 of them laid off. Is that right?

Trish Adams: At one point in time, we had over 12,000 dislocated coal industry workers and we did receive some federal funding from the Department of Labor to assist them and their spouses to enter a new career pathway. So, we're working to do some things like that especially when we're getting some new industry.

Chad Chancellor: Right. I know when I read the study, it showed that coal miners, they're very careful people. They’re used to work in dangerous situations and a lot of them are real good in metalworking, but it also-- the study shows that they can do aerospace jobs very well because those are precise. You’ve got to be careful and so I thought it was really well done and I really admire how you all have taken kind of a bad thing and turned it into a good thing.

The whole country is looking for labor. I don't care where you are. This week I’ve been in Illinois, Colorado, Florida, and Wyoming and everybody is looking for labor and you all are the one place that has this and you can prove that. So, I think that's all going well. So, talk about when-- like I know Dajco just announced an aluminum plant in that area; 200 jobs I think it is.

Trish Adams: Yes and we’re so excited about that and I had the opportunity to go to Canada with Chuck Sexton back in February and talk about the workforce and talk about what we can do for them to expand. What we found is Dajcor was pretty much at maximum capacity in Chatham, Ontario. So, they've got a lot of contracts here in the U.S. and so whenever they heard that yes, Eastern Kentucky does have an available skilled workforce, they really dug in and invested in our region and it's going to be putting some people back to work. So, we're excited, very excited about that.

Chad Chancellor: Right and don't you find most of the coal miners they want to stay there? Most of them are born and raised there. Their families are there and so, it's easy for people to say why don't they’d just move to other places and get jobs, but they really don't want to.

Trish Adams: Right.

Chad Chancellor: So, that's why Chuck's efforts and what you all are doing are so important.

Trish Adams: And that's the beauty of this Dajco project, too because we feel like the president and CEO, the VP of operations, the HR director, all the guys there, they understand the culture. They understand Eastern Kentucky because our communities are very, very similar.

Chad Chancellor: Are you a basketball fan?

Trish Adams: I am.

Chad Chancellor: I know they just started out. We’re not sure when this will drop, but we’re recording this November 9 and they just started out. You all had a big win. You beat Michigan State, didn't you?

Trish Adams: Yes. We’re so excited. Yes, I do believe Blues.

Chad Chancellor: Yes, I saw you.

Trish Adams: And by the way, Chad, New Orleans is absolutely beautiful sitting here in your office I guess and the view is absolutely gorgeous; looking over the Mississippi River, it's just beautiful here and I really appreciate the opportunity here.

Chad Chancellor: Yes. We gave away our secret. We record this in my studio, which is my kitchen table. So, I didn't tell her that she could say that. So, yes. We’re sitting at my kitchen table looking out over the city and it's a big weekend here. LSU and Alabama play today. It’s in Alabama, but that will still be a big thing in New Orleans and tomorrow the Saints play the Falcons. So, it's a big, big weekend here. Talk about some of the other stuff you all are doing and really the focus of your podcast channel and some of the guests you all have had and some of those things.

Trish Adams: We basically focus on workforce and economic development although that in concept, we are the workforce development agency. We don't really do economic development, but we feel like we double enough in it that we know just enough to be dangerous.

Chad Chancellor: Right.

Trish Adams: But we have some really great projects going on. I don't know if a lot of people are aware, but we have a little guitar shop that started out in Knox County. It’s the School of Luthiery. They're making stringed instruments from Appalachian hardwood right there in Eastern Kentucky. So, they’re hoping to build a pipeline of those guitars that they can ship all over the world. I can’t wait maybe when Chris Stapleton starts playing with those guitars on stage.

Chad Chancellor: Have him on your podcast.

Trish Adams: Yes. I would love to and then we've got some really great projects going on with the-- our region's largest employer which is Appalachian Regional Healthcare. We’ve got a great partnership with Galen College of Nursing trying to build that path line of nurses for ARH because they've had to hire a lot of agency nurses.

Chad Chancellor: Right. You guys really work well together as a region and so I get to travel the country a lot and it's hard to do regional economic development. You just got so many counties and cities and not everybody can get along and I know Chuck's deal I think is 9 counties and yours is 23 you say?

Trish Adams: Right.

Chad Chancellor: That is-- just as I travel, that's hard to pull off, but I’ve been up there two or three times and come to meetings where there are 500 people and everybody is having a good time not only talking business. Why do you think you all have been able to pull together and work so well as a region when other places have a hard time doing that?

Trish Adams: I think one of the big factors is we live there. We see it, feel it, taste it, touch it. We have the passion for the region and we know what we have there with our workforce and we feel like we need more opportunities for our folks to choose from.

Chad Chancellor: Yes and I was in Pikeville where that annual meeting was and I don't know if you've ever been to Pikeville, Kentucky, but you literally come round a mountain and here is this beautiful university that’s up on the side of the hill and they told me they had one of the best optometry schools I think it was.

Trish Adams: That's right.

Chad Chancellor: Nursing schools and I got to sit next to the former Governor Patton at the dinner. He got to tell me all about it. It’s a beautiful place once you get there and I find that once you get into that area, like there it’s kind of a hidden surprise. I have never heard of Pikeville, Kentucky till I got there, but I can live there and be perfectly happy. We went to a great restaurant university and all. It was just fantastic.

Trish Adams: Well, thank you so much for saying that. I really appreciate it. That is my home. Eastern Kentucky is where I was born and raised and I have five siblings and all of my siblings left Eastern Kentucky to find work and I don't know if anybody out there has heard the Dwight Yoakam song Readin’ Rightin’ Route 23. That's pretty much what they did, but back then, that was pretty much all we had was coal jobs and they chose not to take that career pathway. So, now we’re trying to diversify a whole complete region.

Chad Chancellor: Yes. Well, I know you say you've got a sister in Greenville, South Carolina. I’ve got to be in Colombia, South Carolina. Trish has got folks everywhere. She got an Uber last night from the New Orleans Airport and the lady before her had been from Pikeville, right?

Trish Adams: Right. She was from my home town in Hazard and the Uber driver said hey, I just dropped a girl off and she is on her way back to Hazard and he told me who she was and I’m texting her. Hey, I just missed you. Come back.

Chad Chancellor: And then I said I got to be in South Carolina next week. She said oh, I got a sister there. So, you know folks everywhere.

Trish Adams: You have to ask Chuck Sexton about the trip we took to Canada. We were passing by all these rural communities and I’m like well, I’ve got an aunt who lives here. He was like you are kidding me. I’m like well, I’m pretty well connected.

Chad Chancellor: Well, I know you've got a show too and so you get to ask me some questions.

Trish Adams: Yes, I do and I--

Chad Chancellor: On this one, I’m going to get interviewed for a change with my guest mate. They may be waiting for this, so ask me the hard questions.

Trish Adams: That's right. Chad, I’m so excited that we're here in New Orleans today and it's just a beautiful, beautiful sunny day. I want to know about the Next Move Group and I want to hear the story about your dad. I just love hearing that story.

Chad Chancellor: Yes, yes. So, Next Move Group we really focus on creating economic growth for small to mid-sized companies, communities, and non-profit organizations and I’m kind of talking about each of those, but it goes back really to our history. So, when I was a kid, 9 years old, right around Thanksgiving, it was this time of the year. My dad got laid off. He worked at a Sunbeam plant in rural Mississippi town. The plant probably had 600 people. It’s still there today, but it only has like 5. It’s just a warehouse now. They moved all the production overseas.

I remember just overnight, he lost his job. His twin brother worked there. My aunt and uncle worked there. This is what you did in this town and so overnight, he lost his job and ended up then getting into construction work which paid good money, but he had to leave. He literally left home every Sunday. We'd watch the Saints football game, which is why I love the Saints to this day and he'd leave after the ball game, go work and come home on Friday night.

So, I was really raised in a single-family home, not because of divorce, but my little town just didn’t have any jobs. What I get up every day really thinking about is how do we help small communities go out and recruit companies that are not go up and leave? That's what I like about Dajco. Those are the type of companies we like to have.

Sunbeam, they're going to leave and go to China or Mexico to save a penny wherever they can and that's their right. I’m not saying they are wrong to do that, but when you recruit a small to mid-sized company like Dajco, you got them. That company is going to grow there. They're not going to up and all of a sudden the spreadsheet says I’m better off to put this production in Mexico and everybody gets laid off one day.

So, that's really the passion behind what I do and it's interesting; the other co-founder, Alex Metzger, he kind of came from a different background. I was blue-collar, raised in rural Mississippi. He was kind of a country club boy raised in Paducah on the other side of the state. Paducah to Pikeville in Kentucky. Kentucky folks know what that means and his family were entrepreneurs. They owned meat processing facilities and were very successful, but Walmart put them out of business. When Walmart got into groceries, it put them out of business.

So, when we started the company, we really said how can we help small to mid-sized companies and communities really grow together because they all face similar situations and so we started this thing now over five years ago. I think we've had 130 clients now all over the country, in Canada. We've actually helped a company in Israel expand in the United States.

Well, I have found two things. One, we say we help small to mid-sized. Everybody thinks they are mid-size. It’s funny. When we did it, I didn't know. I thought I don't want to limit us. New Orleans is mid-size. When I grew up, I thought New Orleans was a big city, but if you talk to people of New Orleans, they think of themselves as mid-size. In some ways, Houston is big, but Dallas kind of thinks of itself as mid-size. So, I have found-- I say midsize and everybody goes oh, that's for me.

Trish Adams: Maybe they just want to be included in the Next Move Group.

Chad Chancellor: Only like Boston and New York and LA think they are not mid-size, but that's really what our passion is behind it and I think that's why we've been successful because when we get up in the morning, I think back. I think back to my dad coming in. I tell you he--and that's why I really feel for the coal miners because they are a similar person to my dad.

When he lost his job, it's not only a job, but you almost lose some pride because you think to yourself, here I have worked at this plant 20 years and again, Sunbeam has every right to do that. I’m not saying they don't, but here I’ve worked at this plant 20 years and how easily I can be replaced by somebody in China making a quarter. It almost hurts your psyche in addition to just losing a job and so I just think back a lot to that sitting there that night when he came in and told us that and the whole house was just kind of quiet. Nobody knew what to say.

Trish Adams: It was a somber feeling.

Chad Chancellor: It was a somber feeling and we were not wealthy folks. We didn't know what-- I was little, so I didn't know any different, but we didn't know where the next check was going to come from, but that's really-- Whenever I get in a situation to where I’m having to decide what to do and you will in this business. You’ll face red tape and all this kind of-- I always go back to that and say what can I do to help somebody like what I went through not to have to go through that?

Trish Adams: That’s a great story, Chad, and I really appreciate that so much because our jobs give us purpose, it gives us meaning in our lives and when we lose that, it just takes so much-- it takes the wind out of your sails.

Chad Chancellor: Yes. And you know so many-- I didn't even realize this when we started, but so many of our consulting competitors all they do is brag about all the Fortune 100 companies. You go to their website and they'll brag about oh, we helped all these big companies and I understand that's them proving they are credible, but we're just the opposite.

I don't want to help big companies. If somebody comes and says help us move to Mexico, I’m not helping them. I don't care how much money they pay us. That's not what we're doing and so I think that we have accidentally kind of stumbled into a niche that nobody was really paying attention to and we didn't really set out to say that's where we're going to go, but it’s just our passion kind of took us there. And now, our reputation has grown and so now we're doing business--

I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming this week. When I was little, I would consider Cheyenne a bit city, state capital. They are a mid-size city and they face a lot of the same issues as the other ones do and so I think that-- I’m really enjoying how-- I’m finding as we grow the small to mid-size communities have similar issues whether you're in the south or whether you're in North Dakota, Washington State, we're all more similar than we think we are and that's what I’m enjoying. You would think somebody with a southern accent-- I couldn't go off to Fargo, North Dakota and get by, but within five minutes, we all got the very same issues and so, it kind of binds everybody together.

Trish Adams: Well, no matter where we go, we have an accent.

Chad Chancellor: That's right. You got one too. East Kentucky has got an accent.

Trish Adams: That's exactly right, but we use it to the best of our abilities.

Chad Chancellor: That's right. That's right.

Trish Adams: And it's a great conversation starter I think sometimes especially when you're in the elevator you give your 30-second elevator speech and you’re saying okay, where are you from?

Chad Chancellor: That's right.

Trish Adams: Well, let me tell you where I’m from. Let me tell you what I do.

Chad Chancellor: Well, my accent is a little mixed because New Orleans people-- I don't sound New Orleans. If you're not from New Orleans, I sound New Orleans, but if you're from New Orleans they all think I’m like I’m from Houma, Thibodaux which is real south Louisiana and I’m not. I’m from Mississippi.

When I graduated college, I lived in Mobil and Mobil, Alabama has a deep southern old fashioned accent, kind of like a savannah. And I lived in Lafayette, Louisiana. Somehow, I think I picked up a combination of the two, so I don’t really sound like anybody. If you're from out of here, you think I sound New Orleans. If you're from here, I don't. So, it's just according to where you're from.

Trish Adams: I talk about that a lot too whenever I’m talking to people, Chad. We've had a lot of little things happening in our lives. We’ve had a lot of different cultures happening in our lives. We don't let one particular thing define us, but all of that makes us who we are.

Chad Chancellor: That's right.

Trish Adams: And that's the situation with you.

Chad Chancellor: And you know I’m finding more and more-- well, just this week, I told you I was in Chicago, Destin, and in Cheyenne. More and more towns are seeking smaller companies that pay good. I’m finding that. A lot of places are telling us-- because we do executive searches too. So, when we do that, we meet all the board members and mayors and committees and we're hearing a lot of towns now say hey, we need 40 jobs that pay $25 an hour instead of 1,000 that pay $12 an hour and I’m hearing that a whole lot.

I think the economy is better now. Now, you can be a little more choosy, but I like the fact that we have-- because when I got into this, we just wanted jobs. I remember 2008 and 2009, you took any job. It didn't matter what you were after. You took any job you wanted, but I’m finding now a lot of the small to mid-size towns they are kind of embracing what it is we've been preaching.

It’s good because I’m not preaching it. I go in and I ask places hey, what do you want? And they are telling me we really would rather have small to mid-size companies. We need 40 or 50 jobs that pay good because if we get 1,000 in here that pay $10 an hour, they're just going to take labor. We’re really not accomplishing anything.

And this is kind of what we've been saying for a while, so it's funny now. It seems like the market has caught up with us and we're hearing this all around and I love to hear it because when you do get one of those companies, you’re going to have them. They’re not going to up and move. They’re not going to play you off another state for tax incentive. They might the first time when they locate there, but five years from now, they're not going to say oh, we're going to move to West Virginia if you don't give us all this money. You just don't have to worry with that. You typically have them for the long term.

Trish Adams: I had a conversation with someone here yesterday in New Orleans and they were asking me about my job, what I do and I started telling them and one of the success stories I think that we've had in Eastern Kentucky and I want to share that a little bit with you and I want you to compare that with some other things that you've done.

We had are a startup company called Silverliner in Pikeville and they needed some aluminum welders and these aluminum welders not only had to make things stick together, but it had to look pretty. We posted 50 jobs in Eastern Kentucky for this company and we received over 3,000 applications. 600 of those 3,000 people had some type of metalworking, welding, aluminum welding experience and we did some major assessments with the employer involved with these people and the skill set is there. The employer was absolutely blown away.

We talk about drug issues in the workforce. We found-- when we did those assessments, we drug-screened a lot of those people. Out of 150 people, we only had 3 fail a drug test.

Chad Chancellor: Wow!

Trish Adams: So, if you're working with anyone that's looking to locate or expand, Eastern Kentucky is definitely the place to come to.

Chad Chancellor: We need to be advertising down there.

Trish Adams: That's why I wanted to bring you.

Chad Chancellor: Yes. Now, that is incredible and the drug thing. So, we're hearing a lot of places where people are saying we’ll get 50 resumes, but half of them they have drug issues. I really think that you all have something that this country needs and that's labor and it's just no question and now it’s just a matter of getting your story out which Chuck's doing and you all are doing and all the state of Kentucky is doing. So, I think that's incredible. That big city ratio I’ve heard lately, but labor is trouble everywhere. We’ve got like Cleveland, Ohio can't hire an electrician. They got an electrician shortage up there and those are the skills those coal miners have. There are a lot of electricians. Tell folks what our labor was in a coal mine because I didn't know growing up. I just think of a little man with a pickax picking coal, but it is really skilled. I know there are a lot of electricians and welders and maintenance people. So, talk about the folks that may not know and hear this and they may go well, it does make sense. They probably do have labor. What kind of folks worked in a coal mine?

Trish Adams: Well, one thing they have great work ethic. They will show up for work on time. They will work from daylight to dark and never complain. When Chuck Sexton and I and Del Boyette and Kay Stebbins were working on the workforce study, one of the quotes that I think Del twitted many times is that there was a coal miner in there that we actually interviewed and he said you know we used to pray for a Saturday off and now, we just pray for a job.

So, they want to work. They have the-- here's the thing with a coal miner. Even if your toaster tears up, they can tear that thing apart, fix it and not even think about it. Their thought process is there. They are so-- they can work in the aerospace industry. They can do metalworking. It just amazing at what all they can do and the spouses too are very good. We’ve helped many of them go back to school to be nurses in the medical field.

Chad Chancellor: And I know really, you all didn't start heavily recruiting until what? Two years ago because when Chuck got there, it took him a year to kind of build this infrastructure and already you're having success.

Trish Adams: It was about two-- a little over two years ago I think is whenever that-- because I know Chuck has been out in Paris, France, he’s been to Washington, Canada. He's going out and talking to business and industry that's looking to expand. We also participated in the MRO Americas show in Orlando, Florida and listen to this story. This is hilarious.

We were there. We had a really good time, but we worked really hard during that show and we wanted to connect with some businesses that were looking to expand. We had more people come by our booth where we were promoting Eastern Kentucky. We had more people at our booth than Boeing and Airbus. And you want to know why?

Chad Chancellor: Because of Chuck?

Trish Adams: Well, we were giving away--

Chad Chancellor: I figured he was singing karaoke.

Trish Adams: We were giving away bourbon samples; Kentucky bourbon. So, we had more people come by. We had great conversations and Chuck is still doing follow-ups with some of those. So, we're hoping to have some more wins as a result of that.

Chad Chancellor: You know Kentucky has got some name brand stuff. When I moved up there, I ran the Paducah Economic Development and Paducah is way over on the west. It’s closer to St. Louis and Nashville than Frankfurt, but I remember seeing Larry Hays was the cabinet secretary at the time and I remember telling him and I said we're going to be part of Kentucky. I don't care if we are stuck four hours away close to St. Louis. We're going to be part of Kentucky. And so, we embraced the Kentucky Derby and the bourbon and the basketball and that worked.

Trish Adams: And Kentucky fried chicken.

Chad Chancellor: Yes, you know I embraced that, but Kentucky has a brand. People think highly of the horses and even though Paducah was way away, we did all that stuff and if we had a prospect, we'd send them sometimes by John Calipari. He's good about helping stuff like that and so I think Kentucky has got a good brand.

Another thing about Kentucky is there is no real huge city. I mean Louisville is a big city. But it's a small enough state everybody kind of knows each other. It’s not like Texas or somewhere that’s so big you don't know each other. If you go to one conference, you kind of get to know each other.

Trish Adams: Yes and I’m so happy to hear your story about your connection with Kentucky as well, but Chad, you travel all over the United States and what other countries do you go?

Chad Chancellor: We've helped a bunch of Canadian companies come to the United States and we've probably helped five or six, which is a bunch to me since we've been in business five years come to the U.S. We're helping one food processing company right now out of the Emerton, Canada area. We’ve been heavy in Canada. We had a partner up there that just passed away, Bob Bathgate, and so we've got to kind of rethink-- I don't have anybody up there now [what we did?  00:26:01.02] so we got to kind of rethink our strategy in that term.

We don't do a whole lot of overseas travel. We have helped an Israeli company come to the U.S. and they put two distribution centers; one Georgia and one in Indiana in the U.S., but we haven't really done a whole lot in the overseas, but we've done a whole lot in Canada. I figure we'd better dominate the U.S. and Canada first before we do a whole lot overseas, but that's in our growth strategy as we go along. I was raised on a farm, so I don't like traveling a whole lot. My business partner Alex loves all that, so I’ll give all that to him one of these days and say take it.

Trish Adams: We have a whole lot in common. So, was I. I was raised on a farm.

Chad Chancellor: I say that having got off a plane at midnight last night. I got to be on another one Tuesday. We're traveling right now. The funny thing about business we grew right out of the bat and then we kind of got to a stage-- we’re making a nice living and we kind of got to a steady point, but then all of a sudden, this year, we have just exploded with growth and it's kind of taking me back to when we first started because I’m killing myself being on all these airplanes.

Trish Adams: I would say so.

Chad Chancellor: But when we first started, that's what we did to grow and then we kind of-- we got to a little steady level then this year, the growth just came at us. Next week, I’ve got to be in Georgia and South Carolina at one time. The next week I’ve got to be in Shreveport and then Texas. I’m not complaining. These are all good problems to have, but it's just funny in business and Chuck and I have talked about this because he has a real interest in entrepreneurship. You don't just grow steady like-- I’m holding up like people can see us. So, I’m holding up my hand.

Trish Adams: That's okay, you’re doing the pie chart.

Chad Chancellor: You don't just grow up steep. You go flat line and then you go again and so we are experiencing one of those go-agains right now, which is causing a lot of travel. So, I think we're-- getting back to your question though, I think we're getting to the point where we're going to have to do more international stuff because we're grown enough now to where nearly everybody in the U.S. knows about us. So, it's time to take the show on the road overseas.

Trish Adams: So, you're creating jobs in the United States of America--

Chad Chancellor: Right, that’s our passion.

Trish Adams: Small business and do you have a ballpark number of how many jobs you've assisted to create?

Chad Chancellor: It would be hard to say. On the site selection-- so that the plants or the facilities we've helped people locate its probably between 1,000 and 2,000. I would have to stop and really think, but we've helped-- and I don't know 40-50 communities hire an economic developer and of those, I think we’ve only had two or three that have let their person go since we've done it. We’ve been doing it five years now.

And so, we can't take credit for the jobs all those people recruit, but we helped towns find people that know what they are doing rather than just let's go hire Sally May or whatever. We helped them find an experienced economic developer and nearly-- we figured out one day 80% of them have won a project within a year. Now, some of them are in little small towns, some are in-- we have the World Trade Center in New Orleans. It’s easy for them to win some, but 80% have won something within a year and so, there's no telling the thousands of jobs they've all created. We really can't take credit for it, but we feel part of it because we helped the town find somebody that knew what they were doing.

Trish Adams: And do you help train them people, the new directors?

Chad Chancellor: We do if we need to. Some of them are well established don't need any training. The bigger cities we don’t because typically, we're finding people who have been doing it 10 or 15 years. Some of the small towns we have because they've hired people maybe right out of college or find somebody kind of like a coal miner. There are skills that are transferrable, but not in this field yet and so we’ve provided support to them.

Trish Adams: I know you're very good about going around and sharing stories and best practices, which also helps a lot of economic development people.

Chad Chancellor: Yes, and we've had competitors on our podcast, people say to me you don't need to tell everybody all your secrets, but I don't really think that way. To me, the pie grows, it grows. It grows for all of us, but what our mission-- what ties us together is we want to create jobs for the U.S. And so, if a company hires us to put a plant in Germany, I don't know that we would do that project. If a German company hires us to find a place in the U.S. to put a plant, we'll for sure do that.

Trish Adams: All in.

Chad Chancellor: That's what our mission is. If you go to our website, you see a flag there. That's what our mission is because I think you got to stick to what it is that you're passionate about. What I find is the more you stick to that, the more people will be drawn and hire you because this is what we do. We don't take plants to Mexico. We don't take plants to China or Germany or wherever.

So, I think the more the economy is good, I think we're seeing more smaller jobs project, but bigger capital investment. We are seeing that. We just signed up in the last week a $200 million capital investment. It is not a whole lot of jobs, but if the people spend that kind of money, they're going to be in the United States for quite a while. So, we like those projects as well.

Trish Adams: How do you advise an economic developer to get involved with their workforce professionals?

Chad Chancellor: That is a good question. When I look at workforce from the company side sitting on the site selection side, they kind of I think look at it three ways. How can I find people, number one? So, I think an economic developer needs to figure out who in that community can help me find people, recruit them, warm bodies. How do I get resumes? How do I get people?

Number two, companies want to know how can I help train these people and so to me, organizations like yours and others can help screen resumes once they come in so that if you do have 1,000 resumes for five jobs, a company has some assistance doing that and then lastly, how do we train them? So, I tell economic developers when you think about your workforce, think of it three ways. How do we recruit? How do we screen? And how do we train?

And in some cases, you may have organizations that can help you do all three or you may have one that really can only do one of the three, but you need to figure out how to create a brochure or a one-piece thing that says this is how we help you recruit and maybe it’s five entities; the workforce board, the community college, whatever. This is how we screen. This is how we train.

It can kind of tie it all together because I have seen some states that they almost work in solos and they do all of that stuff. They do every bit of that stuff, but they never really connect with the company that this is how we do these three things. So, to me, if I’m an economic developer, I want to get out there and meet all my different potential providers and kind of figure out what it is they can do so I can put a cohesive menu in front of a client that they can kind of pick from if that makes any sense.

Trish Adams: Very good advice, too, Chad. I appreciate that and EKCEP, our workforce development agency, we do all three. We do the screening. We find the folks. We also assist in paying for some of the training for the employer. So, we love those type of projects.

Chad Chancellor: Workforce development is kind of a buzz word. So, a lot of other folks will claim they do it. You can try to really figure what exactly do they do and so, I just say I’m common sense. I just try to-- which of these recruit, screen, train? Which of these do they do? A lot of times, you’ll find that different entities will do one of those things, but they won't do all three and that's fine so long as you know what it is they do and then you can present that to the company.

Trish Adams: Very good, thank you.

Chad Chancellor: The other thing I will say, often the HR manager is not involved on a big level in this site selection process. So, a lot of times, the site selection process is being run by the CEO, the COO, the CFO, who’s interested in taxes and all. So, a lot of times-- the HR managers will understand all your workforce problems because this is their job. Unfortunately, they are not usually on the site selection team. They should be, but they are not.

So, I challenge the communities; how do you sell what you’re doing to the CEO that probably don’t even understand what a HR person does? You got to think to yourself that you may be dealing with folks who understand logistics and customers, but they may not really know much about what their HR department does.

So, I think that communities need to figure out how to get through the first workforce question; you know when you get that RFP? How do I get past this because usually once you become a finalist and you're in the last two or three, then they will bring their HR people in. Now, you can sit with them and talk business and they’ll understand what you're doing, but I think to me, the communities that stand out figure out how do we sell all we're doing on that recruitment, screening, and training right out of the bat to that CEO from a 30-second high-level elevator pitch standpoint? Because a lot of times that CEO is not going to understand some of the industry jargon that the HR manager will when they get involved.

Trish Adams: And like you said, the CEO pretty much relies on the HR manager or director. They know-- the HR folks know what the company needs and what they're looking for.

Chad Chancellor: That's right. That's exactly right.

Trish Adams: Makes common sense.

Chad Chancellor: That's exactly right. So, I think get that elevator pitch down which you all have got and labor there. What’s tough is when you don’t have any labor. Like a lot of the rest of the parts of the country, they have to figure out what is your elevator pitch. Then that will be a little bit tougher I would say.

Trish Adams: Well, Chad, is there anything else that you want folks on my podcast channel to know about the Next Move Group and Chad Chancellor?

Chad Chancellor: Not really. I would just say I admire what folks in East Kentucky are doing. I really do and it shows the need for good economic development professionals and so, what really aggravates me and happens every now and then particularly around political races is folks will say well, we don't need economic development people. Just let the market figure out where folks go.

Well, the truth is if that's the case, then East Kentucky may not ever win anything because you’re not out there. People don't know that you have this labor. Somebody has got to be out there telling it. And so, to me, what you all are doing just proves the need for economic development people and workforce people to do all of this stuff and that it is not just some program. That it actually works.

I actually have used yours-- I have traveled the country-- as a model of place that is working really and so I admire what you all are doing and what we do is perfectly aligned with what you all are doing, but as long as you and Chuck are there, you all know what we do, so you can bring us in when you need to.

Trish Adams: And we appreciate the kind words and I appreciate the opportunity, Chad, and for you to show me your beautiful city.

Chad Chancellor: Yes. I’m going to give you some tips where to go tonight.

Trish Adams: Okay.

Chad Chancellor: All right.

Trish Adams: Sounds good. Thank you so much.

Chad Chancellor: Thanks.


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