jump to navigation

Workforce isn’t the only consideration, but it’s a top consideration October 6, 2006

Posted by Tom in Community, Economic Development, Technology, Workforce.

The Business Innovation Insider tells us that, despite what we may have heard about the “bust” that followed the 1990’s Internet boom, Silicon Valley is still the place to be. And why?

Web 2.0 companies from all over the country continue to migrate to Silicon Valley, attracted by the easy access to venture capital money as well as a pool of highly-skilled tech workers and seasoned Internet executives. Even if it means packing up an office and moving across the country, it appears to be worth it…

The blog post also shares a chart indicating that the high-tech average wage in Silicon Valley is $126,700. Compare that to the high-tech average wage in Massachusetts ($87,200) or Washington ($79,700), and it’s clear that certain businesses will pay a premium to enter the top tier employment markets.

I just need to keep this in mind as I keep reading article after article that reinforces my negative feelings about the unfortunate culture of cheap in the world of economic development. But I have to wonder – Is this article an outlier (representing just the information technology industry), or is this perhaps a larger recognition of the value of the expert workforce residing in Silicon Valley? And, by extension, do other industries locate in given regions for their expert populations?



1. globalburgh - October 10, 2006

Interesting survey in the October 7th-13th edition of the Economist. Talent in the knowledge sector is at a premium. Companies are paying big bucks to attract talent and then fighting hard to hold onto it. So, I agree that regions shouldn’t be so “cheap.”

However, paying whatever premium won’t necessarily result in a talent cluster. Even Silicon Valley worries about brain drain. The best investment is in the creation of the talent that world currently craves. As the Economist Survey points out, companies are now spending a lot of money on developing the talent themselves. This is a serious indictment of primary, secondary, and post-secondary education.

I don’t think subsidies and other sweetheart deals will allow regions to compete with Silicon Valley’s greatest asset: the density of great minds and entrepreneurs. Companies are paying a lot of money to be in Silicon Valley, where the knowledge assets are located.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: