A good customer service rep is one who says, “We know you had other choices, and we’re glad that you chose to do business with us.” In Cobb County, we’re getting the chance to say that quite a bit as we see our plans for long-term economic expansion working.
Notice I didn’t say “economic development,” which typically focuses largely on the quantity of new-business contributions to a region’s economy. I mean expansion, where you also focus on the quality of growth.
In September, I told the Council for Quality Growth that we need to shift our way of thinking from exclusively economic development to that of expanding opportunities. I define it as creating the kind of jobs that will attract today’s youth who are getting their education now so they won’t see the need to move out of Cobb County when they start their careers.
Local students graduating from area technical colleges might be intrigued, for example, with opportunities at companies such as Greenway Health, a Carrollton-based company that just announced a new office here for software development. Greenway is starting in Cobb with 150 new jobs that pay, on average, another 50% more than the county’s average wage.
Other options might include companies like the German metal-components manufacturer, citim AM, who is investing $9 million in its move next year to Kennesaw. Or, Vonage, the phone company that in July announced plans to move into the Cumberland area from Atlanta.
Most recently, Genuine Parts announced it would accelerate the consolidation of its corporate headquarters with another of its facilities, which is located just across I-75 at Wildwood Office Park. The 1.7-mile move could have, instead, been to another county or state, but Genuine Parts cited a wonderful relationship with Cobb County and an eagerness to stay here and plan for the company’s own expected growth.
We’re excited about all this expansion, and hope that you’ll latch onto that word when you tell people you know about all the great things happening in Cobb County.
(Reprinted Commissioner Tim Lee’s e-newsletter)