First Posted: 1/3/2009
Over the past few days, The Mount Airy News has run several stories talking with local officials about what they view as the most significant challenges facing the area in 2009.
Every one of the county and city officials we spoke with whether they were elected commissioners or managers put at or near the top of the list job creation.
Thats a common refrain. Ask any candidate for local public office what they view as the top need during an election season, and most will say jobs.
Everyone, it seems, likes to say we need new jobs. More jobs. Higher paying jobs. Greater diversity in jobs.
They are, of course, correct. Mount Airy and Surry County needs some growth in the employment market in a big way.
But the real question should be, how do these folks serving on the boards of commissioners plan to attack this? Its easy to list what we need, sometimes its not so easy to begin meeting those needs.
As we head into the new year, we ask all the commissioners in Surry County and Mount Airy as well as those serving on similar board in Dobson, Pilot Mountain and elsewhere what are your specific plans for attracting jobs to the area?
We challenge our elected leaders to put their heads together, find out what has been successful in other markets, figure out where the growth industries might be, and then develop a comprehensive, aggressive plan to bring jobs here.
The time to simply list whats needed has passed. Now is the time to take concrete, bold steps to meet those needs.