Region is top dog for business growth…really?

Allow me to step back on the soap box for a minute…

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Site Selection magazine (at left) just recognized this metro area as one of the leading areas in the country for attracting new and expanding businesses last year.

Here’s what the article says:

 Dan Lynch, president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, says the area’s growth will take off even more next year with the opening of the $350-million FedEx Mid-Atlantic hub at the Piedmont Triad International Airport.
“That will be a huge attraction for other companies,” Lynch says. “They will have highly sophisticated sorting equipment. This is a project that has been 10 years in the making. When it opens, it will add 1,500 jobs.”
Nearby High Point did more than its share to propel the MSA to No. 1. “North Carolina’s International City” produced nine corporate facility projects, including the metro area’s largest jobs generator.
TransTech Pharma and PharmaCore announced Dec. 20 that they would expand in High Point by investing $23 million and creating 205 jobs that pay an average annual wage of $96,000.

Another excerpt:

  Loren Hill, president of the High Point Economic Development Corp., says the key to the city’s recent success has been economic diversification. “You think of High Point as being the furniture capital of the world, but when you look at our annual report, we have many other things going on,” he says.
“The Greensboro-High Point metro area offers a unique combination of physical infrastructure and talent,” says Don Kirkman, president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “There are six four-year colleges and universities and three community colleges in the three-county MSA that provide significant research and training support for companies that choose to locate in the region.”,NC.jpg/250px-HighPoint,NC.jpg Naturally, the spin machine cranked up.

Coverage from yesterday’s High Point Enterprise:

 “I think it underscores how together we are in get­ting the job done,” said May­or Becky Smothers. “High Point is the most competi­tive city in the most com­petitive region in the most competitive state.”

Okay, I’ve heard (and read) enough.

How suspicious that this comes out just in time for furniture time!

But furniture/textiles/tobacco/apparel…again, many thanks to our so-called economic development professionals for putting these eggs in one basket and not diversifying the local economy.

Thank you guys.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. So how does this balance in on an education/political/candidate blog? Easy.  See while it continues to be very important for our children to gain the important skills they need in college, I remain very concerned that many of these young people will be unable to find jobs should they decide to stay in this area after college-life.

The brain-drain we continue to have in this area is growing rapidly, and our so-called economic development professionals aren’t responding as quickly as we need them to be.

These big job announcements aren’t coming as quick as we would like them to, and they’re being drowned out by continuous announcements of layoffs and company shutdowns.

If this area is growing economically, I’m sorry, but I don’t see it. And maybe I don’t see it because I’ve been job-less and actively searching for a job since the late summer.

I’ll admit that I was on the FedEx bandwagon a few years ago, and it’s easy to do when you’re employed. But when you’re unemployed, with a college degree, with a family to support and the only jobs that are plentiful in the area are service jobs paying $9/hour, there’s a disconnect somewhere. Suddenly, you look at things from a whole-new perspective.

I’m running for School Board to give our children (my daughter included) the chance and the tools to become successful.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…there’s a reason why Raleigh and Charlotte continuously pass us by economically. We need to work a lot harder and a lot smarter to bring serious companies in to give our young professionals a chance to build a successful future here. It can’t be done on service jobs paying minimum wage with no benefits.

And it also starts with serious reform in GCS.

Climbing off the soap box.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

E.C. )


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