In addition to serving our clients in crisis, Waymaker Group has been working hard behind the scenes to expand and fine-tune services we know our communities will need when the COVID-19 chaos settles. 

Teammate Brian Kelsey’s piece on the abundance of talent in unrecognized markets is exactly where we think economic development will firmly land when this storm passes. Markets in the middle U.S. will become the new darlings, especially post-pandemic.

For example, corporate leaders are telling us they’re canceling real estate hunts for large downtown properties (in recognized tech hubs) and expect that a minimum of 30% of their workforce will be working from home. Office expansions are already moving away from a prime, single-headquarters building to smaller offices across the country. In short, companies are realizing that talent can work from anywhere.

Six of the top ten markets with the highest concentrations of software developers (with wages roughly 20% less than Silicon Valley) are in cities you wouldn’t normally think of. We’re looking at you, Kansas City, Detroit, Columbus, Minneapolis, Charlotte, and Salt Lake City. We’ve known for some time that Rise of the Rest is for real but it does seem here lately, that our time is truly on the horizon.