Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

January 23, 2014

The bottom line

VALDOSTA — An editorial Sunday in the Times posed the question that if two national chains both left town at the same time, keeping other locations in Georgia open, then perhaps it’s a symptom of a larger problem.

Sales volume was the reason given for one of the closings, so the Times speculated that perhaps the lack of job growth in the area has something to do with the lack of growth or reduction in sales for other business sectors. No entity, government or otherwise, was called out or named in the editorial, and since Sunday, the Times has received an outpouring of support for the message, which called for action, not more studies.

Members of the Industrial Authority took the editorial personally, and it was pointed out to the Times that they’ve created 330 jobs by helping existing industries expand or by convincing them not to close. When those jobs are broken down, they belong to Home Depot’s distribution center and Express Scripts, which hired 130 local individuals to work from home on the telephone for customer service in a virtual call center type operation. The third was Regal Marine, which proudly launched their company in Valdosta in 2002 and at one point, was up to over 300 jobs and is now down to 75, which the Authority helped to retain.

When asked about the number of jobs lost in 2013, all the Authority provided were unemployment statistics.

In the last three years, the Authority has brought in the virtual call center, bought more land for industrial parks, helped an existing industry expand its workforce and helped another existing industry build a warehouse operation. In the same time, jobs have been lost due to downsizing, layoffs and closures.

If national chain restaurants are closing due to lack of sales, there is obviously an issue, and new projects announced which would total fewer than 100 jobs created is not going to turn the economic tide in Valdosta.

The newspaper is trying to get local leaders to work together in an honest appraisal of the issue and recognize that the economy has not recovered in terms of real dollars that are reflected in a business’ cash register, not hypothetical ones reflected on a chart.

No amount of studies or committee discussions, no amount of attacking the newspaper and not the problem, is putting people to work. Many have tried to simply gloss over local economic woes, pretending they don’t exist. But jobs are scarce, hiring is down, no new industry large enough to compensate for the loss has been recruited, and the bottom line is, business owners are suffering.

Text Only
What We Think
  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

  • Too many pinwheels

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with numerous volunteers assisting the Child Advocacy Center in placing pinwheels on the lawn of the Valdosta City Hall. Each pinwheel represents one child that was a victim of abuse in 2013. Volunteers placed 887 pinwheels in remembrance.

    April 8, 2014

  • Take some kid time this week

    Spring break returns this week for many South Georgia schools. Both Valdosta and Lowndes County school systems are out through the week for the traditional spring break.

    April 6, 2014

  • Spring Into Art: Valdosta’s talent center

    Walking through the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts during Spring Into Art is always an amazing experience.
    Hundreds of paintings, drawings, photographs meet with sculpture and ceramics and other art forms to create a kaleidoscope of creativity. Spring Into Art is the most democratic of art shows because whatever is entered, as long as it meets the show’s criteria, is displayed.

    April 5, 2014

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results