The Case for Jobs
According to the Gallup Corporation the world is hungry for jobs. It is absolutely essential that communities like Fort Collins understand that fact. It means that our community’s jobs are other communities’ prospects. Another important fact to keep in mind is that 10 to 15 percent of jobs in a community disappear annually just through the natural course of business. We have to run hard to stay even.
- Why Communities Need to Focus on Job Creation
- Benefits of Economic Development
- The Downsides of Economic Decline
- What is Economic Development?
- Community Development versus Economic Development
- Why Focus on High-paying Base Jobs
- Why Base Employers Choose One Location Over Another
- Government’s Role in Economic Development
- Chamber Jobs Agenda
Why Communities Need to Focus on Job Creation
Author Jim Collins says that “Good is the enemy of great.” He means that when things are going well, it is difficult to muster the energy, sense of urgency, resolve and resources to push to the next level of excellence. This is as true for communities as it is for individuals and organizations.
Benefits of Economic Development
New jobs, of course, is the primary benefit of economic development, but other benefits include retaining existing jobs, increased and stable tax base, economic diversification, community and personal self-sufficiency, appropriate use of land, enhanced quality of life, improved standard of living, and community pride and reputation.
The Downsides of Economic Decline
History is replete with stories of communities that were once prosperous that fell in to decline. While that is certainly not a concern for Fort Collins, it is important to keep in mind that economic backsliding and decline have real and significant adverse impacts on a community and should be avoided at all costs.
What is Economic Development?
Economic development is the intentional process communities use to create their preferred economic future. In effect, it is a set of policies and actions to influence private investment in the community that results in increased income and job opportunities for residents.
Community Development versus Economic Development
For a community to be vibrant and livable, it must make a concerted effort to work on both community development and economic development. They are interdependent and reinforce each other.
Why Focus on High-paying Base Jobs
Base jobs, or what are sometimes called primary jobs, are the key to a community’s economic vitality. Such jobs pay significantly higher wages than the average job. These jobs are defined as those which produce goods and services in excess of what can be consumed by the local market. When goods and services are exported outside the community, income is ‘imported’ back into the community and drives the retail and service sector and generates tax revenue for local government and schools.
Why Base Employers Choose One Location Over Another
Companies stay in or select to move to certain locales for reasons that are unique to their companies. A key point to keep in mind is that they look at factors that are important to them. Those factors are related both the cost of doing business in specific locales and quality of life. While being proud of our strong quality of life, we must also make the business case.
Government’s Role in Economic Development
The primary creator of private-sector jobs, of course, is the private sector! However, the policies and actions of government can either help or hinder that process. City government can play a very important role in creating high quality jobs for its citizens.
Role of Local Elected Officials in Economic Development:
10 Things you Should Know
The National League of Cities and the Center for Research & Innovation partnered to create this guide as a “top 10 list” of things elected officials should know about economic development in order to be effective leaders. Authors: Christiana McFarland and Katie Seeger, National League of Cities, Finance and Economic Development Program.
Chamber Jobs Agenda
The economic initiatives in Fort Collins over the past eight years or so have been positive and form a good foundation upon which to build. Economic competition in the region, nationally and internationally make it imperative that the Fort Collins community has a clear vision, a political consensus and strategic economic plan. To that end, here are some observations and recommendations. They are grouped into five categories: Community Economic Vision and Plan; Community Readiness and Competitiveness; Retention, Expansion and Attraction of Primary Employers; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Talent Development.