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Re: “Why Amazon Chose Nashville Over Memphis

native- I agree with your post, but it also represents a choice this city (its leaders, residents or otherwise) must and so far have refused to make. Which model should the city follow?
1) The Pittsburgh model. More or less the process of educating and training the existing population base to slowly rebuild the economic base. The benefit is greater rewards for the locals (specifically their children/grandchildren) and a win for authenticity. The cost is the city is also likely to see its population and economic footprint greatly erode in the decades required to achieve meaningful results. This option requires deep pockets that are in it for the very long haul- think 30 year (or more) time frame.
2) The Austin/Nashville model. Essentially focus on attracting the critical populations needed to succeed and you that you dont currently have. The benefit is rapid economic growth which can and often does provide opportunities for local residents to improve their own outcomes and quality of life. Also, the likely outcome of a reduced crime rate and general improvement of quality of life/social services due to a growing tax base. The cost is a high risk to become anywhere/nowhere USA and the chance that little of the resulting transformation will be truly rooted in the place. It is also more likely that those living on the lowest rung will miss out on directly benefiting in the form of employment.

With the local poverty rate being what it is, and all of the negative symptoms that accompany it, Memphis generally lacks the resources necessary to accomplish both strategies simultaneously.

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Posted by barfolomew on 11/29/2018 at 3:52 PM

Re: “Why Amazon Chose Nashville Over Memphis

In addition- providing ample opportunities for further education and training is a key to reducing the local poverty rate, reducing the city's violent crime rates and generally improving local economic outcomes and quality of life indicators. However, this is a very slow process. So slow, that the city will likely lose many of these newly trained individuals who will find themselves more qualified and thus more heavily sought to relocate to other regions where the quality of life would represent a substantial improvement. The assumption made by this author is that once educated/trained, that either a job is waiting for them or that they remain here by choice int eh face of much improved opportunities elsewhere. Refer to the "brain drain" that plagues so many towns, cities and even whole states. In addition, attracting people to Memphis based on how cheap it is only works until a) they pay off their student loans, or b) they become experienced enough to command substantially higher pay. Once that occurs, the lack of dynamism that dissuades talented individuals from locating here now will continue to take its toll.

If Memphis hopes to truly increase its ability to compete both regionally and nationally (let alone globally), it must also substantially and rapidly increase the depth and breadth of the local pool of well-educated and trained individuals. All the area technical schools, colleges and universities combined do not have the capacity (and in some cases the ability) to increase the quality of the workforce at a fast enough rate to be truly effective. This must be accomplished at a speed and rate that can only occur by attracting talented, educated and trained individuals from outside the area to relocate here.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 11/29/2018 at 3:18 PM

Re: “Why Amazon Chose Nashville Over Memphis

This list of facts is well and good, but only some of it would impact Amazons decision making. The vast majority of the Amazon jobs going to Nashville will not be filled by graduates with 2-year associates degrees (or comparable) from the Moore Techs and Southwest CCs of the world. This is not a knock on these fine institutions, but arguing that a more robust Moore Tech would sway a similar economic opportunity in the future is false.

Of key importance was not just job training but ability to attract and retain talent. A comparison between the 2 citys ability to attract those with a 4-year degree (or even more ed. attainment), specifically those aged 21-35, would be a far more informative comparison. Only marginally related to the authors point, both the number and % of those with an associates degree or greater and the change in those numbers would be very informative as well. The actual numbers matter, because doubling the % of that group means little if it only translates to the actual number increasing from 4 to 8 people. From what little I have read of the decision, Memphis was never a contender. However, Amazon has just bet that they will not have a problem hiring both from the local market AND will not encounter significant headwind attracting people to relocate to Nashville.

Based on the headquarter search parameters, an airport that functioned more or less as a hub was also a prerequisite. BNA provides direct flights to 65 markets including direct flights to London compared to the 26 destinations served from MEM. Some companies do not require robust direct flight options, but Amazon did.

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Posted by barfolomew on 11/29/2018 at 3:01 PM

Re: “Joint Venture Formed to Spur Economic Development Announced

That said, it sounds like we are creating more bureaucracy to address the complaints regarding our bloated and sluggish bureaucracy.
If they really wanted to "accelerate", their first act would be to restrict the involvement of many of the lawyers within both organizations.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by barfolomew on 11/09/2018 at 5:11 PM

Re: “Good Morning, America. How Are You?

..not to mention the number of states where the Dems flipped the governor's seat.

No, the only ones calling it a "ripple" are the diehard Trump supporters who are now even more affraid (if that is even possible) of what the future has in store for their beloved sweet potato.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 11/09/2018 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Joint Venture Formed to Spur Economic Development Announced

Can't speak for most of that, but I know that minority hiring and participation in projects that receive local tax relief has increased.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by barfolomew on 11/09/2018 at 10:08 AM

Re: “New Plan Reboots Marine Hospital

As if architects matter...

Posted by barfolomew on 11/09/2018 at 10:06 AM

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