RDA Happenings March 2014
Posted on March 1, 2014 – By Emporia RDA
We continue to receive great leads both from our partners and our proactive marketing networking opportunities. This year could shape up to be a great year, but as the old adage says “don’t count your chickens until they are hatched”.
Last fall we contacted the Emporia State University School of Business about the RDA in communicating with social media to inform our
internal and external clients regarding RDA activities, objectives and results. Dr. Sharath Sasidharan, Associate Profes-sor of Information Systems School of Business, contacted our office in December 2013 indicating a group of his students could assist us in the spring semester.
March 4th Dr. Sasidharan and five ESU business students met with Robin and me to discuss the process. We discussed the merits of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Based on the student’s recommendations and our discussions, we will begin formulating plans to implement a strategy to develop and launch the RDA presence on those three social media outlets.
For years we have utilized “classical” local media – radio and newspaper. We will continue to utilize radio and news-paper, and then begin expanding our messages/communication into the social media. There is ample information to be communicated about economic development.
The challenge with economic development corporations is that we sign non-disclosure agreements with existing and new companies and have access to proprietary and confidential information. Progress on existing or new expansion pro-jects are confidential until actually announced.
Social media appears to be the natural communication conduit for development issues. For instance, on the Emporia Pavilions we are using the “traditional” media to communicate the facts regarding the Emporia Pavilions project and Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
The local, regional and national economy continues to indicate signs of growth. We have experienced job growth at Hostess Brands and other manufacturers here in Emporia. We welcome and encourage that growth.
Governmental entities at the state, county and local level help celebrate the growth in job creation in our region. Busi-ness grows when sales increase and customers place orders. Local communities can assist those companies with growth; however, it is up to business to maintain and create jobs.
There are those who claim manufacturing is dead in Emporia. That is clearly false; we are gaining more jobs than we lost in 2012 during the Hostess Brands bankruptcy.
There are those locally who claim that manufacturing creates low-wage jobs. The facts just don’t support that claim. The fact is that retail and the hospitality industry have much lower wages than manufacturing.
According to the Kansas Statistical Abstract for 2012 on page 255 http://www.ipsr.ku.edu/ksdata/ksah/KSA46.pdf is a table entitled Average Annual Wages by Industry, Kansas and the U.S. 2009-2011. In 2011 the average wage for manu-facturing was $52,010, retail trade $23,903, arts, entertainment and recreation $15,779 and accommodation and food service $13,319.
We welcome and encourage all job growth; however, performance-based incentives are offered to those qualifying businesses that create full-time jobs with benefits and salary higher than the average salary in Lyon County and Emporia.
It is an exciting time in Emporia!