The Growing Toll of The Opioid Epidemic

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Inside Indiana Business on November 7, 2017 by Tim Cook and Katie Culp, CEO, President, KSM Location Advisors

Last week’s (i) on Economic Development put the spotlight on Indiana’s opioid epidemic and its impact on the economy. What could two people involved in site selection and economic development possibly have to say about this crisis? As it turns out, a lot. Opioid and other drug abuse has a significant impact on Indiana’s workforce and, therefore, our economic success.

To be clear, nothing compares with the personal toll of this crisis. The daily loss of human life and its impact on families, schools, communities, and our culture cannot be overstated, and it’s certainly not overshadowed by the economic impact of it. But that economic impact is real, and it’s not just about the resource strains it puts on local hospitals, emergency responders, and healthcare costs. Some estimates put the annual price tag of this problem at $1 billion in Indiana alone.

As site selectors, we work with all types of industries throughout the country as they make decisions on where to locate or grow their businesses. The number one driver in site selection, regardless of industry, is workforce. Finding the quantity and quality of prospective job candidates to fill the positions needed is critical, whether it be life science, tech, manufacturing, or warehouse and distribution.