It’s no surprise: Jobs at heart of decline

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 16, 2001

It should come as no surprise, of course, that yet another expert accredits a declining area population to a lack of jobs.

That four-letter word – JOBS – and all it embodies are at the heart of discontent or happiness for so many people.

And JOBS – or the opportunities to work, earn more money, to advance, prosper and achieve that elusive American dream – are what so many people seek nowadays.

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That is why, according to a Louisiana State University professor, Concordia Parish’s drop in population during the past 10 years comes as no surprise. &uot;… It’s because of a lack of economic opportunities,&uot; said Joachim Singlmann.

More to the point, individuals and families are going to move to wherever they find the best economic opportunities – whether that is Concordia Parish, Alexandria, Dallas or South Bend, Ind. We must follow the jobs.

The overriding question now for leaders in Concordia Parish and Adams County is simple: How do we get those jobs – and the people who will follow them – here?

The bottom line, of course, is economic development, and it’s a theme we reiterate over and over again in this space.

But the reality is the growth we want for our community will come only with a focused, committed and successful economic development effort.

And that will happen only with dynamic, committed and willing leadership which steps forward with a plan and a willingness to lead by example and elected officials who are willing to put aside turf battles and politics to bring about success.

It’s a simple formula.