CLEVELAND, OH – June 12, 2006 – If you owned a mid-sized (100-500 employees) company that is growing rapidly, and you needed to find the best place to locate a new manufacturing or distribution facility, or perhaps a back office operation, why would you care about something like quality of life?
After all, with the possible exception of transferring a few key employees, most of your future employees will be hired from your new location anyway. The reason you would care is that each of your new employees will want to be able to tap into the American Dream, and the cost to you as an employer will vary from metro to metro.
Expansion Management magazine, which is mailed bimonthly to more than 45,000 CEOs, vice presidents, directors and other executives of companies that have indicated they are considering expanding into new geographic areas, recently published its 8th annual “Quality of Life Quotient TM ratings of the 362 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) throughout the United States in its May-June 2006 issue.
The magazine rates metro areas as a way of providing its readers with a basis for comparing the type of living and working environment they are likely to encounter in various communities around the country. The Top 20 percent of MSAs earned the coveted “Five Star” distinction, while the next 20 percent were designated as “Four Star Quality of Life Metros.”
“True quality of life is about employees being able to afford to tap into the American Dream,” said Bill King, editor of Expansion Management, a monthly magazine for executives of companies that are actively looking for the best location to expand or relocate their facilities within the next one to three years. “It’s about being able to afford to own a home, to be able to send your children to good schools, to feel safe from crime, to live in a place with a reasonable cost of living. This study simply shows you a way to quantify what most people still consider a highly subjective area.”
A significant part of the American Dream involves home ownership, or at least the ability to afford to live in a decent house or apartment. Just as important are good public schools, as well as the ability of families and individuals to meet their financial needs and desires. Median family income, per capita income and per capita disposable income levels were combined with cost of living adjustments, state and local tax burdens, family and individual poverty levels, and unemployment rates. In all, a total of 362 MSAs were compared according to nearly 50 statistical criteria and came up with a ranking that most middle-class people can identify with.
“Quality of life is available at just about any place in the United States,” said Bill King, editor of Expansion Management magazine. “The only question is how much it will cost to an individual to tap into it. That’s an important issue for employers, because it translates into how much an employer will have to pay to obtain and retain quality employees.”
To read the 2006 Quality of Life Quotient article, go to Expansion Management’s Web site atwww.ExpansionManagement.com and look under RESEARCH STUDIES.