Waiting for the Rising Tide

An important discussion by a seasoned economic developer. Communities should be investing in workforce development to attract employers who will support the middle class again.


About five years ago, I was visiting a small, rather isolated town in the Deep South, and was somewhat surprised to learn that one of their primary goals was to land a fast food restaurant.

Never mind that such an enterprise would be paying close to minimum wage. This was something that was desired because it would generate at least a modicum of commerce (and sales tax) in a community that was pretty dead.

A few years prior to that, I remember being in a major city in the Deep South that was providing property tax abatements to fast food franchises that would build and open at new locations. Leave it to say, I thought that was a rather curious move.

As a former economic developer and now a consultant focusing on corporate site selection and ED work, I hearken to a quote from President John F. Kennedy.

“No American…

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