All-Lock deal should be lesson

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2004

With the announcement of the Meadowcraft expansion, Selma may be one step closer to the magic number.

For over a year, the city’s leadership and citizenry have been struggling to get the county’s unemployment rate out of the double digits. Meadowcraft decided to pitch in by expanding and leasing the old All-Lock building.

The effort will add 125 jobs over the next two years to the city and the county’s economy.

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By current labor pool figures, Dallas County requires approximately 200 new jobs to lose one percentage point on it’s unemployment rate.

With school starting back, the county can expect to see hundreds of workers back on the job, and maybe, just maybe, the addition of Marvin’s, Renesol and Meadowcraft’s expansion will conspire to bring the city a little light in an otherwise dark tunnel.

Now the question is, with the county likely to break the double digit barrier by the year’s end, what’s next?

Meadowcraft’s expansion means industrial real estate in the area is getting scarce. Despite the fact that Dallas County may have single-digit unemployment, nine percent isn’t the best thing in the world.

What’s next? Hopefully, the whoever wins the election will be emboldened by their success and continue to make the aggressive pursuit of jobs and industry a constant in city and county policy.

The Centre for Commerce, the EDA, the city and the county have all worked together to get us close to the goal. Despite differences, the level of cooperation is something to be applauded.

Even if the county breaks the unemployment barrier, nothing should change. Even if the county eliminates unemployment altogether we should continue working to improve the quality of life in Selma.

Everyone involved in the All-Lock deal should take a valuable lesson from this experience and others. It helps to work together and no matter what, it should continue.