As our community continues to grow, it was great seeing this positive growth have an impact in our city’s bond rating. In short, this essentially saves not only our government money, but each and every tax payer, and it is great leadership and long range planning that makes this happen.
I will say that most of the reports were positive, but I was disappointed to see the following statement, “Despite strong economic growth, the city’s socioeconomic indicators are below-average with the median family income at 66.2 percent of the state and 56.3 percent of the nation,” Moody’s credit opinion states.
This one statement says entirely too much about our community. We work hard to bring quality high paying jobs while our business and industry have a high expectation for trained and skilled workers, but workers are only being paid at a level of 2/3 of the rest of the state. I understand cost of living is low here and there are many other factors, but as a citizen, it is important that you understand your true value and skills. There haven’t been many times in our country’s history that the worker was such a commodity, usually, the equation is flipped and the job is the commodity and the worker is expendable. If companies have expectations of high quality skilled applicants, the pay has to at least be somewhat on par with other parts of the state. This pay deficit makes attracting higher end retail difficult, makes recruiting housing development difficult and also forces employees to take on additional jobs and hours to survive.
I hope as a community, we pride ourselves in what we make and the services we provide, but we must always remember the people behind the services and products. If you don’t, you may find that “Help Wanted” sign outside your business way too often. If you don’t take care of your employees, there are lots of businesses in town that would love to.