Monday, May 12, 2014

Is Charlotte gobbling too much of N.C.'s job-recruitment pie?

A new report out today from the N.C. Justice Center, a progressive public policy think tank in Raleigh, is raising questions about whether bigger cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville are gobbling up a disproportionately large percentage of the state's job-recruitment incentives since 2007.

Of the $840 million in incentives given out since then to recruit or grow industry, the majority went to the more urban and prosperous areas of the state, the study showed. Mecklenburg got 55 job development projects during that time and pulled in more than $303 million in incentives -- or more than a third of the state's total incentives for the period. That money came with promises that companies would create or retain more than 24,000 jobs in the Charlotte area. By contrast, rural Sampson County, located just east of Interstate 95, received merely $238,000 for two projects. Those projects promised to create or retain 187 jobs.

The state has been trying to do more to boost job growth in economically hard-hit rural areas. But as urban areas keep sprinting ahead, the challenge seems to loom increasingly large.

"North Carolina needs to spend less money on incentives in the most prosperous metros in the state, and start investing more in the roads, schools and job training programs most likely to create jobs and improve economic conditions in the state's most distressed and rural communities," said Allan Freyer, the report's author.


Anonymous said...


But what if the potential new employers only want a more urban area? Should we tell them no, they most relocate to a rural area if they want any money? Maybe those that live in the rural areas should move to the urban areas? It would be a more efficient and productive use of all government resources that way.

Anonymous said...

some people just have a hard time accepting that rural areas are not desirable to the vast majority of companies.

They have limited work forces and virtually no ability to attract talent to relocate.

Areas like Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville, and Wilmington SHOULD get the majority of economic development funds.

The rural counties in the eastern part of the state are largely net takers from state coffers.

Anonymous said...

Suggesting that corporations relocate in rural areas, except for call centers, etc., is like suggesting that LENNAR build luxury homes in West Charlotte. It does not work that way, it also does not work for executives of Toyota to relocate employees where their only choice is an urban school district when they can opt for a public school system like that of Plano, without poverty and social issues.

Cornelia said...

NC must make a choice. Does it want "social justice" or an economy that "lifts all ships?"

Anonymous said...

If roads, schools, and training have cost NC rural towns recruitment jobs in the past then sure, send them incentives $$$ to build roads etc.. but that wasnt mentioned as having been past deal-breakers. Imo, incentives to reward companies to set up shop on rural NC and low tax rates is our best bet.

Anonymous said...

This is coming from an group that has no clue how companies pick their locations. You cannot incentivize with shiny new roads if the workforce is not there and the execs can't get good quality of life.

See exhibit 1 - global transpark Kinston

The cities will continue to get the jobs and if NC is smart they will support the jobs.

Anonymous said...

Few people want to live in rural areas. Few companies want to locate in rural areas. (Psst: that's why they're "rural.")

So if rural North Carolina wants a job, the best plan is to pack up and leave as quickly as possible for a city that generates jobs.

Who knew that Tom "th'cities are getting ever'thang!" Apodaca and Allan "MetLife woulda took th'country!" Freyer would make common cause in their hatred of cities?

To both of them: for most people, "the country" is a non-starter. Good grief, even Junior Johnson moved to Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

The problem with NC is its podunk rural areas have too much of a voice now. Only 66% of NC residents live in urban areas. By contrast over 75% of residents live in urban areas in GA, VA, FL and TX. Those state arguably have more vibrant cities. NC cities are doing fairly well, but they will do much better when the state pushes it's urban % up in to the 75% range and we can finally stop trying to put resources in places companies and people obviously don't want to be. It's a waste.

Anonymous said...

/\ In essence I agree with you but I think Raleigh and Charlotte can hold their own against not just cities in the SE but cities nationwide. As far as urban % goes GA has one major urban center and VA is helped out by DC. FL has sheer numbers on it's side and was never a major farming state as compared to NC anyway. NC was the least urban state out of VA, SC, and FL 200, 100 years ago and is still fighting that legacy today.

I do agree however that these cities should recieve the funding they need to compete on a higher peer level. Rural NC needs to do what it does best and that is an agricultural center. Nothing wrong or negative about that. It's when the rural kingpins in the state house want to "industrialize" this issue comes up. You would be hard pressed to find another state other than Miss that this statement would come up in a major state newspaper. This is what kills me about NC. Always slow to the party and then has one foot in the past and one foot in the present. When will the people of this state wake up and vote these rural backward thinkers out.

Take a drive to other cities in the SE and look at their infratstucture then drive 77 or 277 and tell me where is the equity. Until the rural counties realize their time has past NC and specifically Charlotte can never develop the type of national momentum Atlanta had coming out of the urban renewal days in the 70's.