LBW, Reid State announcement very big indeed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

This Monday's announcement that there will be a technology and training center established in Greenville is big news. One of the basic needs of any industry is a qualified workforce. With the recent industrial announcements coupled with our current industry, we've been behind the curve for many years, putting us in a difficult position to recruit new industry.

Our existing industry has done a good job of hiring and retaining qualified and dependable workers, but those that are currently out of work need the training it takes to make themselves employable in the state's fastest growth industry, the automotive manufacturing business.

Most will agree that the industrial recruitment game is one that takes bold moves and broad commitments along with cooperation on several different levels. This is an example of what can be done if someone just has a little vision; the initiative to back up that vision and the cooperative spirit to bring people together to make it happen. LBW's president, Ed Meadows, is one of those people.

Mayor McLendon's summation of this announcement, that it was "big," is right on target. It might better be described as gigantic since you not only have joint cooperation between LBW and Reid State, but state entities such as the Alabama Industrial Development Training Center and the Alabama Technology Network.

While details are still sketchy on the city's financial commitment, we feel it's important people realize it's one of the city's responsibilities to play a significant role in industrial recruitment and retention and if it takes paving a parking lot or providing water and sewer to get and keep jobs, then so be it.

In saying that we emphasize that the public must still have a say so in the depth of these commitments through their voice on the city council, but the "way things used to be done" is fading fast and people need to understand if we don't change, then we will get left behind.

There's a reason Greenville is considered statewide and nationally as a place that's progressive and forward thinking. It's because we have forward thinking people who "get it" and know what it takes, in a very competitive environment, to lure jobs and provide the workforce to make those industries successful.

While Monday's announcement may not be significant to some, we feel the impact of this cooperative project will be a positive, lucrative venture for the people of Greenville and Butler County for years to come.