There was quite a bit of cheering when it was announced that Publix was going to build a major distribution center and bring over 1,000 jobs to East Greensboro.

Now that the cheering has died down, District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower is trying to make sure that the people of East Greensboro benefit from those jobs right on their doorstep.

Hightower said that right now her efforts consist of contacting people and getting the ball rolling. She said, “We have the resources.”

Where Hightower is starting is getting together a list of the skills that people will need to get those good paying jobs with a company that has a reputation as a great place to work. She said, “Basically I’m just finding out the types of jobs Publix will be hiring.”

Hightower said the next question that needs to be answered is, “What training do we need to put in place now, to get people ready for those jobs.”

She said once those questions were answered it was simply a matter of putting together a plan to give people the training they would need to get a job at Publix and letting people know about it.

Hightower said, “Now is when we need to do it. We need to be on the proactive side, not the reactive.”

Hightower said that once she knew what was needed then she would work with Workforce Development and Guilford Technical Community College to make sure the training was made available for people from the area who were interested in those jobs.

She said that they would give them help with their resumes and that some of those interested may need help with issues like expungement.

Hightower said, “We want to make sure the people who live here benefit the most. We really want to help the people of Greensboro to be able to work. Eventually we may need to look at the bus system.”

She said, “We’ve got to stop waiting for people to come to us. We need to go to them.”

Hightower added, “We’ve got to seize the opportunity.”