Bill LaFayette, Ph.D., brings 16 years of experience in economic development organizations and a thorough understanding of the workings of regional economies and workforce development to Metcalf & Associates clients. Bill offers an array of economic and workforce analysis and planning services to clients in public, private, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. The goal is to help clients understand the regional and community economies in which they operate and to work with them to develop strategies to grow their economies and businesses.
Bill is owner of the consulting firm RegionomicsTM LLC. He is a recognized authority on the economies of Ohio and the Columbus region. His clear, jargon-free explanations of economic forces have brought him great demand as a source for print and broadcast media and as a speaker to business, government, and community groups. He has produced the Columbus Chamber’s annual Columbus Blue Chip Economic Forecast since 1999, and continues to do so as senior economic advisor for the Chamber.
Prior to founding Regionomics, Bill spent 12 years as vice president of economic analysis for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and four years with Rickenbacker Port Authority, which managed Rickenbacker International Airport and its Global Logistics Park and Foreign-Trade Zone. An experienced educator, he served on the finance and real estate faculties of Ashland University and the University of North Texas, and has more recently been an adjunct faculty member of the Capital University School of Management and The Ohio State University’s Departments of Finance and Workforce Development.
Bill engages with his community through service on the board and program committee of the Columbus Metropolitan Club, the board of Community Research Partners, and with various volunteer groups benefiting the state, the region, and the historic Columbus neighborhood in which he lives.
Innovative Leadership Transformation Consultant Areas of Expertise:
- Analysis of the status of community, regional, and state economies
- Assistance with the formation of economic development policy
- Identification and analysis of regional driver industries
- Industry-level workforce needs analysis and workforce development policy
- Economic and financial analysis of firms, industries, and projects
- Economic impact analysis
- Assistance for researchers, grant-writers, and community and business leaders in finding, using, and interpreting economic and demographic statistics
- Written communication, media relations, and public speaking focusing on regional economic and workforce topics
Innovative Leadership Transformation Consultant Accomplishments:
- Served on the statewide steering committee to implement Governor Ted Strickland’s Ohio Skills Bank initiative to align the offerings of educational institutions with the skills needs of employers. As designated labor market analyst for the initiative in Central Ohio, identified growth occupations for the healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics and distribution sectors and collaborated with industry and educational leaders in each of these sectors to identify priority skills needs.
- Served on the Columbus Economic Advisory Committee under appointment by Mayor Michael B. Coleman. The Committee assessed the structural imbalance between City of Columbus revenues and expenses, evaluated the operations of key City departments, and issued a report in March 2009 outlining recommendations for returning the City to fiscal health. Wrote the Economic Environment section of this report.
- Conducted detailed economic, industry, and workforce analyses in support of major Central Ohio corporate attraction and retention efforts, including NetJets; Bank One/JP Morgan Chase; Delphi; and the Defense Supply Center – Columbus. The results were used to communicate the strengths of Central Ohio to decision-makers within the subject organizations and to help economic development leaders understand Central Ohio’s strengths and weaknesses relative to competitor regions.
- Prepared community and neighborhood-level demographic and employment analyses for communities in Central Ohio, including Clintonville, Columbus, Delaware County, Dublin, Franklin County, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Hilliard, Licking County, Reynoldsburg, Springfield, Westerville, and Worthington.
- Analyzed the economy and workforce of Walton County, Florida, under contract with the Walton County Chamber. Prepared a report outlining economic strengths and weaknesses, with recommended actions to leverage opportunities and address threats. Presented findings in two speeches to Walton County’s business and government leadership.
- Conducted a wide variety of economic impact studies for Columbus Chamber clients and investors. Examples include the City of Columbus bond packages of 2004 and 2008, the Columbus Museum of Art, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s service expansion, employment growth of the Ohio State University Medical Center, Grange Insurance’s corporate headquarters expansion, proposed air service between Columbus and Europe, and Columbus Public Schools’ building campaign.
Selected Education, Training, and Certifications:
- Ph.D., real estate economics, The Ohio State University
- M.B.A., investment management, Wright State University
- B.S., Summa cum Laude, finance and accounting, Wright State University
- Graduate, Leadership Columbus