Letter From the Chamber President

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Mac Williams, Chamber President

Corporate site searches are exercises in elimination as companies evaluate location options leading, ultimately, to the choice best matching their project requirements. Data for a myriad of factors on each competing location is researched and analyzed and comparisons are made narrowing the choices until the final site is selected. These factors and related data are either uncontrolled or controlled by the community.

Weather is an uncontrollable factor. Weather conditions affect important operational concerns such as costs and reliability of utilities and are integral to a risk assessment of any given location. Weather conditions and related data, including vulnerability to extreme events such as the recent hurricane and flooding, are beyond the community’s control.

The public education system of a community is one example of a controllable factor; and, an important one because it impacts labor conditions which always rank first or second on the list of deciding factors in site selections. Education and labor data are often intertwined since the public education system is usually the primary component in any location’s workforce development system. The quality of a public education system is a controlled condition in that local citizens determine, either directly (through bond issues) and/or indirectly (through elected officials), what kind of education system is provided for the community and, by extension, what kind of community is offered to potential businesses.

Several years ago, many of our citizens took an important step concerning Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) and, through a structured input process, provided our leaders with the ‘Vision for Public Education in Alamance County’. Based on that vision, a strategic plan is being implemented;and now, on the upcoming November ballot, three initiatives will appear that, if all three are passed, will put critical pieces of that vision into place.

The three referendums include two bonds, one for ABSS and another for Alamance Community College. The third referendum is for a ¼-cent sales tax increase which would provide an additional revenue source for funding the bonds. These three measures will be presented separately on the ballot and each one needs our support.

Businesses have choices where they can locate. As a community competing
for that investment and striving to survive elimination, we cannot control operating conditions influenced
by weather but we can control labor conditions to the extent they are influenced by the education facilities where our teachers teach and our children learn.

Given success or elimination in a corporate site search is, in part, subject to uncontrollable factors like weather, it is imperative that communities attend to the factors they can control.

Vote 3 for Education. Vote to support the two education bonds and the 1/4-cent sales tax. For more information, visit www.alamancebonds.com.