And the recent Mercedes Benz relocation announcement puts me in good company. While I didn’t get $23 million in tax incentives to move to the city last summer, I did analyze many of the same factors that eventually swayed the luxury auto manufacturer. (By the way, Mayor Reed, I am still accepting tax incentive offers, and I look forward to hearing from you.)
Atlanta is home to some of the world’s most iconic brands, including 16 Fortune 500 headquarters. We also boast, and boast often, about possessing the world’s busiest airport, with direct flights to countless cities worldwide. That was particularly important to me. And as much as we Atlantans complain about traffic, the convergence of I-75, I-85 and I-20 make our city the shipping and transportation hub of the Southeast. We have big league sports and big league events that rival any city in the world. We are a beacon for civil and human rights and in recent years, Atlanta has emerged as the leader in global public health thanks to the CDC, Emory Health and the Task Force for Global Health.
These factors will become increasingly important in our globally connected world. The needs of a shifting workforce demand nimble and creative change and transitional planning for the next generation of leadership.Forbes predicts that by 2025, 75 percent of America’s workforce will be Millennial. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) report on Millennial demographics confirmed national trends that “Millennials have different perspectives than earlier generations on issues such as mobility, living and work arrangements, environmental sustainability, quality of life, and education.”
But these changes signal opportunity for Atlanta. Millennials from across the country are moving here because of a growing job market, affordability and increasing infrastructure for public transit and livable communities. These individuals bring with them their intellectual and creative capital that is the lifeblood of business. Atlanta is metaphorically skating to where the puck will be in 2025, not where it currently is in 2015.
The city’s focus on development and long-term planning will pay significant dividends in the coming years.
We are a city where brands like Delta and UPS go out to the nations. It’s also a city where the nations come to us. Through my work at Hope-Beckham Inc., an independent public relations firm, I have been able to engage with global icons such as Coca-Cola, Rotary International and the Nobel Peace Prize. In November of this year, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates will honor Atlanta with the largest gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners in history.It could be the largest international event in Atlanta since the 1996 Olympics. Last November, the city and its business leaders played host to the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, when he came to town to honor HOI, a faith-based NGO located in Tucker.
Domestically, we are favorably located on the eastern seaboard with convenient access to ports like Savannah and New Orleans. We share a time zone with New York City and other international business hubs directly to our north. And from a social standpoint, it’s easy to maintain long-distance friendships with people scattered across the country with relative ease and affordability.
Perspective from: Andrew Thompson, is an account executive at Hope-Beckham Inc., an independently owned public relations firm based in Atlanta.