The mayors and city managers of all three Triad cities met on Monday to talk about jobs. Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem will still be competitive, but city leaders decided they need to do a better job working together to attract jobs to the area.
The conversation got started after all three cities essentially got into a bidding war when a debt collection company dangled the possibility of expanding and creating thousands of jobs.
City leaders decided to ask their staffs to work together and draft a Triad jobs policy The policy will set a baseline for what triad cities will offer companies looking to expand or relocate to our area. A draft should be ready in about 30 days. Then, councils from all three cities must approve the policy.
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said, "The more we can work together, the better deals we can put together for our citizens and get a better return for our citizens...We certainly acknowledge that each one of us is going to be competitive when it comes down to certain situations. On the other hand, we don't want our citizens to be take advantage of."
High Point Mayor Becky Smothers added, "We'll always be competitive, but competition is good for you. It keeps you keen and on your toes. At the same time, I think we all recognize we have responsibility to the taxpayers. This is their money that goes into incentives."
Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins said, "It's critical that we appear to work together because the companies that are looking in our area are looking at the region. They're not looking at the individual cities...We're all kind joined together at this point. All of our citizens are mobile. Many work in other cities. So, it's our obligation to try to try to increase the level of the entire Triad because, over a long period of time, all of us are going to need jobs. The only way for us to really achieve that goal is to work together."
More specifics still need to get worked out. The bottom line: any jobs coming to any Triad city will benefit all three cities in some way, shape or form.