It’s one of the oldest mantras in real estate: location, location, location. But in corporate real estate, it’s being replaced by “people, people, people.”

“The biggest trend hands down in every sector that we work in is having the workforce to meet the needs of the company in the short-term, mid-term and long-term over the next 25 years,” said Del Boyette, president and CEO of Boyette Strategic Advisors, a consulting firm with offices in Atlanta and Little Rock, Ark. “You can have all the infrastructure in place, the perfect building and the perfect site. But if you don’t have the workforce to support that business unit long-term, then the investment cannot be made at that site,” he said in a new white paper by CoreNet Global.

One of the biggest workforce challenges for manufacturers is overcoming the skills gap. Although output has continued to increase, manufacturing employment has grown more slowly, in part due to technology and automation. The workforce needed to fill today’s manufacturing jobs needs to be more skilled, but high school students in the U.S. are not being educated and trained to go into the manufacturing sector.

And, a lot is at stake for localities seeking to land big manufacturing plants. Due to foreign investment, “re-shoring” of jobs back to the U.S. and domestic investment, U.S. manufacturing is moving forward on a path of slow and steady growth. Industrial output grew at a rate of 3.5% in 2015 and 3.9% in 2016 with an annual growth of 3.26% predicted over the next 5 years, according to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Corporate real estate professionals of course have skin in the game, because rather than just being a pass-through for information from different departments, they can play an active role in filtering those internal requests and oftentimes managing the different wants and needs of different stakeholders with what is realistic and achievable, said Kate McEnroe, owner of McEnroe Consulting in Chicago.