One of the challenges in a post-Covid economy will be how to add jobs in a way that insulates our community from outside impacts. During my time on the Mills River Town Council, we have worked closely with public/private partnerships and we have also granted incentives to a number of industries and corporations that have shown an interest in moving to Mills River.
In this way, we have discovered that having a variety of light industries producing different products leads to a certain resistance to negative economic factors. During the pandemic, our sales tax revenues have actually been higher than they were before the pandemic, showing just how recession-proof our community really is. As a matter of fact, we have added jobs, with 200 new jobs coming as a result of an Amazon distribution center opening in town. Those are high-paying jobs and we were pleased that Amazon agreed to meet our requirements for pay and also for health coverage.
There are ways to improve the success rate, and to expand on what we’ve done in Mills River. I’ll be focused on promoting inter-agency coordination in a way that will add even more light industry and better jobs (including agricultural jobs) after my election.
Another problem that I’ve seen in the past is politicians come out of the woodwork to celebrate a success, but they are nowhere to be found when a business goes under or relocates. The Continental/Tevis plant is a good example. 700 jobs were lost in the Fletcher community, and none of our representatives want to dig into that and find out how to keep it from happening again? We need more thoughtful public servants representing us in Raleigh.
North Carolina has a bright future. It has been a beacon of progress in the past, and it can be once again.