A Website that Gets Millennials Moving for Manufacturing

March 6, 2018

Overview: Cleveland County, North Carolina was faced with a challenge that other rural communities and manufacturing-dense locations know all too well – manufacturing was booming, while the talent needed to sustain these operations was not. Since 2008, Cleveland County has become home to more than 75 new or expanded manufacturing facilities, putting the number at over 170 to date, but was losing talent to outside regions and industries. A low unemployment rate, along with a general lack of awareness of the opportunities available with local manufacturers, was preventing the area from strengthening its talent pipeline.

cleveland county


So what did Cleveland County do? With Executive Director Kristin Reese at the helm, the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership made a strategic plan to rally stakeholders and partners, and develop a talent attraction campaign geared specifically to share the benefits of living and working in Cleveland County, and provide millennial talent with the resources and information they need to make the move to a career in manufacturing. Partnering with DCI, Cleveland County used our deep knowledge of talent attraction behavior, and web design and development know-how to create CharlottesBackyardNC.com, a talent attraction website which serves as the hub of a multi-media campaign consisting of area billboards, a print brochure and video.

Not only is the Charlotte’s Backyard brand and website designed with all of today’s best practices – a mobile, user experience and SEO-friendly design, open-source content management system, action-driven call-outs and rich story-telling content, it also takes advantage of the newest map, job search and social integrations. The site even houses a locally-produced video, showcasing the best of Cleveland County. Each web component is strategically designed to help Cleveland County show off its stuff, while also encouraging users to learn about local manufacturers and area employment opportunities.

Launch Date: November 2017

Five Things We Love About Charlotte’s Backyard

A Brand that Puts Cleveland County on the Map

With little name recognition outside of the Carolinas, Cleveland County needed to capitalize on  its close proximity to Charlotte to educate prospective talent about where it is located and how they can benefit from both easy access to the largest metro in North Carolina, and the low-cost of living and job opportunities available just over an hour away in Cleveland County.

It Takes the Work Out of Job Searching          

Knowing that jobs are actually the number one factor when it comes to a location decision for talent, we made it a priority to make it easy for a user to find and learn about jobs in the area. Linking to pre-filtered searches for manufacturing-specific jobs in Cleveland County communities, including Google’s newest job search function, as well as area job boards, job hunters can access an entire database of listings with just one click.

Not Your Grandparent’s Manufacturing Job-Personified

Manufacturing in 2018 is much different than it was in the 20th century. But what does this actually look like? To show potential talent that Cleveland County’s manufacturing operations are modern, sleek and high-tech, we used commissioned photos from major area manufacturers and profiled both employers and millennial employees to describe the perks of having a manufacturing career in Cleveland County.

Gives Love to All Communities

Needing to highlight the assets of ALL Cleveland County communities, we developed an interactive Google Map to encourage users to explore all of the towns in Charlotte’s Backyard and find resources about real estate, attractions and more in each corner of the county.

Puts a New Twist on an Old Talent Attraction Formula

Most talent attraction websites rely on the standard “Work, Play, Live” messaging to convey a well-rounded look at their community. For Cleveland County, we gave this formula some heart, and let our value propositions and the area’s musical heritage drive the messaging which became, “Find Your Village, Craft, Rhythm and Voice”. Yes, users can learn about Cleveland County’s location, school and places to eat, but they also get to explore philanthropy opportunities, passion projects and meet young professionals like themselves, which we think makes Charlotte’s Backyard a refreshing take on common talent attraction content.
Have you had a chance to check out CharlottesBackyardNC.com? What did you think?

Also, you can learn more about talent attraction trends by downloading a copy of our research report, Talent Wars or get in touch to learn more about our digital services or for a free audit of your talent attraction website.

Karleen Lewis

Written by Karleen Lewis

Karleen joined DCI’s digital team and Economic Development Division in 2015. As a Senior Account Executive and self-described “digital detective,” she lends support to DCI’s digital marketing as well has contributed to client digital projects for Colorado Springs, Northern Colorado and the State of Colorado.

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