Don Fulford: Creating rural jobs

June 23, 2013 

Creating rural jobs

The N&O has done a great job with its investigating reporting. The recent news articles on the Rural Center pointed out again wasteful spending. Having been raised in rural N.C. I have great concern about its future. The Rural Center thinking that investments in Walmart, Bojangles’ and similar businesses will increase jobs is misguided. At best they will take jobs away from local businesses.

Virginia started years ago investing in “onshoring.” One example: The commonwealth awarded a contract for software development with the stipulation the work had to be done in its western-most county. Over 100 jobs were created.

Thousands of call center jobs have moved overseas. We can bring these jobs back with proper incentives.

Also, one of the governor’s major initiatives is to improve the state’s information technology infrastructure. A great way to create jobs in rural N.C. would be to move more of that infrastructure to rural counties.

Major corporations such as Google have moved major data centers to rural areas. Google established a data center in Caldwell County (which has an unemployment rate of over 16 percent), creating more than 100 jobs.

Don Fulford

Raleigh

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