The Greensboro City Council learned more about economic development at the work session on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
This was the second work session the City Council has held this month on economic development and part of the focus was on what the city had accomplished.
It was revealed at the work session that Planning Director Sue Schwartz is in charge of economic development for the City of Greensboro, an unusual if not unprecedented arrangement.
In the presentation Schwartz gave to the City Council, she noted that Greensboro had attracted a total of 265 new jobs in the past year.
Schwartz said, “We had a banner year.”
If Greensboro a city of 300,000 people has a “banner year” when it attracts 265 new jobs, it’s hard to come up with the words to describe the year Graham is having since it was announced this month that Graham had just landed a UPS facility that will bring 451 new jobs to that Alamance County town of 15,000.
Or what kind of year Whitsett is having since in the past three months that Guilford County town with a population of 628 announced that a new Amazon facility would bring 100 to 200 jobs and a Prepac Manufacturing facility would bring over 200 jobs to the town.
For Whitsett, those announcements based on population would be like Greensboro announcing it had attracted about 150,000 new jobs.
The City Council then discussed making it more difficult for new industries to locate here by requiring that they pay a minimum of $15 an hour to qualify for incentives.
The council discussed the fact that looking at average salaries could be skewed by the high salaries of top management.
Councilmember Michelle Kennedy said, “If we are going to say $15 an hour, I want it to mean $15 an hour.”
Councilmember Tammi Thurm suggested that rather than set a specific rate the minimum salary be linked to the minimum salary paid by the city, which is currently $15 an hour, but is expected to increase.
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson suggested that the City Council consider all of the college students in town looking for jobs and said, “If it’s $14, we need to talk about it.”