Editorial: Sum of parts will resurrect our economy
In a recent forum of Henderson City Council candidates, economic development with jobs was recognized as one of the two most pressing issues.
The Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission board recently called for Triangle North, a composition of business parks in four counties including Vance, to step up its efforts.
We believe the time is well past for the City of Henderson, Vance County, the EDC, the Downtown Economic Development Commission and the board for Triangle North to formulate and begin execution of a coordinated business plan. Triangle North represents three other counties, but all entities must be at the table.
The General Assembly in Raleigh, with Republican dominance, has taken actions that benefit urban areas first and rural areas second. We’re among the 85 counties considered rural.
In Washington, round two of sequestration is about to hit. The fiscal year 2014 begins Oct. 1. Round one sent a $37 billion cut into the budget; round two is $52 billion.
Economic leaders in North Carolina’s military heavy regions won’t be sitting idle. For example the Fayetteville area, where the federal defense budget impacts about 40 percent of the area economy, has lost 1,100 jobs and more layoffs are beginning.
When competing to land manufacturers, bet the farm they are a player at the table bringing bargaining chips. Three Marine bases in Craven and Onslow counties and an Air Force base in Wayne County are going to feel the effect as well.
And this not to speak of regular competition faced from the Triangle, the Triad and the Queen City.
In the last two years, we’ve landed a major company but without a significant cut to our unemployment rate. The components of our economic engine need to be firing together. Major manufacturing would be nice, but so too would 10 companies hiring 50 people each, or five downtown businesses hiring five people each.
Expansion of existing companies would be super.
Real solutions to help real people in Henderson and Vance County, our neighbors and friends, are needed. Without pulling on the same plan, we’re likely to be pulling in different directions. That usually means going nowhere, or only to the destination of the strongest.
We’re choosing to believe in the sum of our parts.