Mayor: jobs are coming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2003

If students just completed a job readiness class, why did Mayor James Perkins Jr. speak to them about building roads?

That’s a question Perkins rhetorically asked students on Tuesday morning at the Cloverdale Apartments Recreation Center.

Perkins referred to an unpaved road running between Craig Field Industrial Park and South Dallas Industrial Park. Unpaved, the trip from the parks to the Hope Hull Hyundai plant takes 50 minutes.

Paved, the trip only takes 40 minutes.

According to Perkins, those 10 minutes made all the difference.

The road was just one example of an improvement to the city and county that will bring multiple Hyundai suppliers to the area.

Perkins said the plants are expected to provide more than 100 jobs.

But just as the area was improved to get the suppliers, so must people improve themselves to get jobs.

One method of preparation is a job readiness program such as the one taught by Carolyne Thorne, operations manager with Motherly Care Family Services.

On Tuesday Perkins spoke to Thorne’s class about not only the importance of improving oneself, but also about job opportunities in Selma.

Perkins also listed several other new businesses such as the Selma Plaza near Wal-Mart, the new AmSouth Bank branch and the Hyundai suppliers.

In order to get the jobs, though, people need training, and to get the training people must be drug free.

Perkins said he expected about 75 to 100 people would leave their positions in city government and move to the new jobs once they’re created. At that time, the city’s hiring freeze is expected to lift, and the empty positions will be filled by the unemployed. &uot;But those people need to be trained,&uot; Perkins added. &uot;You’ve got the time now. The first car won’t roll off the Hyundai assembly line until 2005.&uot;