Good news on jobs front

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

According to employment figures released last week, there continues to be some encouraging signs of life for our local, regional and state economies.

For March, the jobless rates for the City of Franklin and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties were down from February and a year ago. Both Hampton Roads’ and Virginia’s jobless numbers were down for the month.

A positive sign indeed, but not an indication that we are out of the woods when it comes to job creation and the health of our economy.

Continued improvement will require sustained effort on the part of our local governments and regional economic development partnerships. Newly elected leadership in both the city and counties need to get on board with policies that encourage the attraction of businesses to the area as well as the growth of existing enterprises.

Continuing to support joint efforts such as Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. is a must. Cooperation with state and regional economic efforts, which resulted in the Enviva and Green Mountain Coffee projects, both announced in recent months, will continue to pay dividends as well.

The combined efforts of local, state and federal representatives played no small role in the repurposing of International Paper’s Franklin Mill, either.

We hope that a renewed sense of cooperation takes hold among all stakeholders in our economy’s future, and we look forward to reporting that even more of our friends and neighbors are employed in the months ahead.