What is your perfect world? If you could live anywhere you wanted, would it be somewhere other than where you live now? If so … or if not… why? What do you like about where you live and what don’t you like?
In the world of Economic Development, when local leaders try to bring jobs to the area, they spend a lot of time highlighting the positive aspects of the community and downplaying the negative.
I’ve explained before that the siting of a new factory is a process of elimination – they strike all the potential sites from the master list until one is left. The more positives – and less negatives - that a community has, the more likely that they can stay on the list to the end.
As readers of this magazine, I’d like to enlist your help in creating the perfect world where you live. There are a lot of things that we, as individuals, can do to help local leaders in economic development. Here are a few:
Get along with your neighbors.I heard it described this way:landing a new company is like marrying them to the community.If a couple doesn’t get along during the courtship phase, the marriage probably won’t last.The same is true in the community:if the folks in the community don’t get along, an outsider probably won’t care to enter the fray.
Take pride in your community.Pick up trash on the street (and don’t throw it there in the first place!).Keep your little piece of ground – your yard and your house – looking good.When folks take care of their own things, and employer is likely to think that they will be taken care of when they come to town.
Work hard.Create a positive attitude with your business and employer so that he or she will pass that along to prospective new industries when they inquire about the community, available labor and work ethic.
The point is – economic development is a community effort. Everything that we do as a community, whether good or bad, reflects on us and our ability to attract new jobs and opportunities. If we work together, we can create the perfect world.
Cleve Poole serves as the Vice President of Economic Development and Economic Development at Pioneer Electric Cooperative. This article was originally published in the Pioneer Electric edition of Alabama Living magazine in July 2017.