"Put up" says:
Okay, let's be fair, Greenville has been sinking for years, ever since we lost our towboat industry! At that time it was all white everywhere. Today's Black (and white) officials have no control over where we have come from, only what our future can be, with everyone's help!
It is a total cop out to blame it on a race of today for what began in the late 70's during the Carter administration. It was then that our delta was hit hard and we have never recovered. Once we lost the towboats, we lost the subsidary industries, the businesses that supplied them and so on and so on. THAT is why so many have left...NO JOBS!!!!!!! It is not a race issue, it is an economy issue and has been for years and years!
Until we can find and attract more industries to replace the lost, we are in limbo and sinking further into oblivion. First thing that has to happen is to stop the blame game! We have to work together to turn it around, finger pointing and blaming has gotten us no where so far...duh? Let's try something new, let's think of what can be done and get it done!
In order for new business/industry to even consider Greenville, we have to have something to offer. A clean city, great schools and safe neighborhood communities. We need attractive shopping and variety dining, activities for everyone, young and old, culturally, physically and spiritually.
WE ARE NOT DEAD YET! Don't make it worse by sucking what little oxygen we have left out of the city with negative and non-productive complaining...take actions, let's turn it around!
Put up or shut up!
The author makes a good point. The current conditions that plague the Delta are the results of a "perfect storm". The '70's and '80's brought about many changes in our economy, schools and local industry. Agriculture gave way to "aquaculture"; the tow-boat industry fell victim to spiraling fuel prices and various manufacturing industries, such as Fruit-of-the-Loom; Mebane, and Uncle Ben's came and went.
Admittedly, we have very little control over fuel prices; however, the primary factors that attract today's industry are a stable and qualified work force, fair wages and a high quality of life for its workers. Here's where Greenville falls short.
In speaking with previous industry leaders, I was told that what had initially attracted them to Greenville was our relatively low cost of living, lack of unions and a seemingly viable and plentiful workforce. Upon their departure several years later, I inquired of these same industry leaders as to their reasons. Most pointed to two key factors.
First was the general lack of work ethic... people took no pride in their jobs, failed to show up for work, were lazy and did not seem interested in learning how to improve their skills. Many workers would habitually come to work late, often impaired and take excessive "breaks".
The second predominant factor was employee theft. I was told by one regional manager that their Greenville plant had the highest cost of employee theft out of its 72 locations, including Mexico and India. As this manager stated to me, "We would come out better fighting labor unions, than losing a third of our inventory to dishonest employees."
All of these issues go back to education, values and self-esteem. Until we can fix these problems locally, we can not expect others to bring us jobs.