If I Were Running A Company…Economic Development

A couple weeks ago, I listen to an episode of This American Life on “How To Get A Job.” The episode has many points:

  1. Politicians and government don’t create jobs. Companies do, but want tax credits or incentives, but works only if it meets the company’s bottom line.
  2. Training and development is important on all levels.
  3. Your city’s economic development team is the most important for unemployment in your area.

The last point, I want to expand on because your city’s economic development is your savior. Now, I didn’t say “new jobs” because your local economic development team are your salespeople and are not there for job creation.

What the economic development does is “steal” jobs from other cities and states from companies who want to relocate to get a good deal for themselves. In that piece, you heard that almost everyone have their happy faces, gave a list of companies in their city, and deals to attract businesses for their area to sell to companies.

Another thing about economic development is like real estate: it’s about “location, location, location.” Oklahoma is very popular for business because Oklahoma is  “low cost, high reward” area. Cities like Austin, Texas and Seattle benefit for having an identity. Now, economic development teams are “economically gardening” to locals to ask people to start businesses so they can boost employment and business attractiveness to the city. It works for most, but places like Detroit and California; it will be a hard sell because of their current conditions.

Simply put, support your local economic development team and business will be coming, either small or large. However, as the piece mentions, economic development “steal” jobs. The only number that changes is your city/state unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate stays the same and really does nothing in the long run…unless businesses spend on hiring.

The ironic thing about the situation is we argue that the NFL and NFLPA should figure out how to divide the $9 billion pie. Instead, the NFL is on lockout. What most people don’t know are private U.S. companies having $1.93 trillion in cash reserves. If companies don’t know how to divide almost $2 trillion to employees and other resources, then who do we have as our executives and leaders making those decisions?

If you want job creation: don’t ask the government because they can’t do anything. Your local economic development can only move jobs from state to state, city to city. You can ask corporations, but they’re saving money and hiring is a “risk” for them. The only solution to job creation is a question: what would you do? You can start your own business, you can write a letter or talk to a CEO who is willing to do business in your area, you can grow an association, you can focus on your job search more, you can train others and many more to help reduce unemployment.

The question will not come from government or companies because they’re set on who they are. The question is from us on what do we bring to the table? If you can answer that question, opportunities will arise.

Leave a Comment

/* ]]> */