A press release late last year from one of the area's economic development agencies touting a new McDonald's as positive economic investment sparked our interest.
Now don't get me wrong, any net gain in jobs is a good thing. But has it come to the point that we're now celebrating a new McDonald's as an economic win? Once upon a time our jubilation point was much higher, like heralding hundreds of new jobs at GE or attracting the new Verizon call center.
Our investigative reporter Ann McAdams took a closer look at economic development and she found dozens of development agencies in southeastern North Carolina. All have the same mission…to attract jobs. But all have different budgets and those budgets conservatively account for about $8 million in taxpayer money each year.
I think it's time we took a serious look at whether we're duplicating efforts and potentially watering down any chances of getting meaningful economic investment in our region.
Unfortunately, we may have already answered that question the day the news release went out on the new McDonald's.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emailed comments from viewers:
I'm not a huge McDonald's fan to say
the least. However, your commentary didn't seem very well thought
out. McDonald's is a huge corporation who does extensive demographic
research before opening a restaurant. Do you realize how many other businesses
use that data? Have you noticed how areas around a new McDonald's tend to
sprout new businesses?
Why is everyone so ready to say
negative things about ANY growth in this area? Titan, GE, bla bla
bla. Let us think positive and improve this town as it should
Down with you nay sayers!
Dear sir. I am a loyal viewer of WECT. I love the news team and the hard work they do. But I want to say that you offended me greatly. I used to work at McDonald's. I spent a good part of my life paying bills and making ends meet working at McDonald's. I understand what you were trying to say. However bashing McDonald's was somewhat an insult. Again I love watching WECT however it looks like when you are on I may need to mute the T.V. You disappointed me.
In other news, a irresponsible dog owner left poop in the neighbors yard. Talk about something that means nothing, your getting better at it. Can't wait to see what great and exciting "yawn" MTYT you come up with next. We will be on the edge of our seats, please carry on Mr. Mcboringstory, great job!
I agree with the
suggestion that having so many "economic development" organizations
at a cost of twenty-some million dollars a year is probably diluting their
individual efforts, and their efforts could be more effective (in both results
and costs) if consolidated in an intelligent way.
However, it is sad to think that such a consolidation would probably eliminate some jobs due to redundancy, jobs that were established to help increase the number of jobs in the area.