How often do you think about your community’s economic development? Never, you say? Or maybe just when that alluring new business opens up shop?
We get it. It’s the job of economic development organizations to think about this all the time so you don’t have to.
But how your community’s economy develops is worth your attention every now and again. As we’ve mentioned before, growth is easy – smart growth, however, takes forward thinking and collaboration.
With that in mind, here are three reasons economic development matters, and why you should pay attention to it:
Economic Development Brings Better Jobs, and Higher Wages
If leadership in your community is paying attention, they realize that some industries are better at providing steady, well-paying jobs than others. In the Santa Clarita Valley over the past year, for example:
* 73 percent of local jobs were categorized under our target clusters;
* 31 new and expanding companies started calling SCV “home”;
* 2,197 new high-quality jobs were created locally.
Economic development, when done right, can help bring quality jobs in great industries like technology, aerospace, and biotech to the community.
Even if you don’t specialize in those areas, competition for talent to fill new jobs can help drive wages in the community up. Those industries all need HR, for example, and someone to handle their finances. Don’t be surprised if you find new opportunity waiting for you in an industry you’ve never been a part of before.
Economic Development Brings Better Infrastructure
With better jobs and higher wages comes more tax revenue and with that the ability to improve your community’s public works. Wise community leaders will recognize the opportunity to secure better school buildings or new tech for local classrooms.
They might improve public safety with more police officers, or keep your community vibrant by dedicating more resources to improving local parks.
Some public infrastructure improvements may be necessary, like upgrading local highways, and may have otherwise been impossible without the fresh tax revenue provided by new and retained business.
Staying involved with your local government can give you a better idea of how your tax dollars are spent, and what’s possible when more tax revenue comes in.
Economic Development Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Better local jobs means more opportunities for you to ditch your commute and continue your career closer to home.
The benefits of doing this are many and include reducing stress, saving on transportation costs, and allowing you to recapture your commute time and dedicate it to your family, or your personal health, improving your overall quality of life.
Yes, economic development can be tricky. That’s why curating it is so valuable, and why it’s worth your time to, at least occasionally, pay attention to how your community is growing and the industries that are taking root there.