FSEDI ‘works on the front lines for all of us’

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I commend Mr. Jackson Taylor’s use of the freedom of expression in the August 15 issue of The Tidewater News. In the same light, I must respectfully disagree with his characterization of Franklin-Southampton Economic Development.

Prior to the recent economic downturn, I had a general awareness of the importance of economic development in our community. In my role in workforce development, I now consider the role of economic development an absolute necessity.

Over the last five years I’ve seen first-hand the professionalism of our economic development directors and their respective boards throughout Western Hampton Roads. These dedicated experts work in an ultra-competitive environment to recruit prospects, retain existing businesses and industries, and provide business expansion opportunities. They collaborate exceptionally well with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership on many high impact initiatives. Unfortunately due to the required confidentiality in many aspects of their trade, much of their top quality work remains unrecognized.

What would our area look like without the recent job opportunities that our economic development leaders have fostered? I encourage Mr. Taylor not to single out one specific economic development project for his critique, but rather take a wider view of the many economic development successes in Franklin, Southampton and, by extension, the southern portion of Isle of Wight. In addition, he might consider taking a tour of the Franklin Business Incubator to learn about its many contributions to our local economy.

Everyone in our community is concerned about our local quality of life and providing job opportunities for our young people. Franklin-Southampton Economic Development is working on the front lines for all of us.

Randy Betz