In the Golden Triangle of Mississippi local construction-related companies have come together as FORGE, dedicated to exposing kids and parents to opportunities in their industry, their companies, and their community. Excuse the pun, but they are doing a lot of the heavy lifting themselves, working with economic development and local schools, to educate and to connect to resources in ways that will benefit them all rather than focusing on how they are competing for a scarce resource.
The events they have created, sponsored, or participated in have included middle school and high school hands-on job fairs, the summer program called Camp Amp, Interview Days, on-site tours, job shadowing and more. One of the more interesting things to me has been the events for parents, and the resource library they provide to connect to scholarships and other support resources.
So, if you are an economic developer and you feel your companies are stuck in “compete” mode, learn more and be inspired here: https://forgeyourpath.org/.