Monday, April 28, 2008

Retail jobs...

During MY campaign for a spot on city council, I emphasized the issue of jobs in the community. It was/is my belief that our local economy is stagnating and even regressing on the job front. There was a time not all that long ago where it seemed like all indications were that the influx of growth was leading to more jobs and other opportunities. The future (then) looked bright and maybe even looked 'recession proof'... if there even is such a thing.

I know that timing is many things in the grand scheme of things. Once the real estate market started to turn, I noticed other bits of bad news starting to emerge locally. For instance, Frontier Communications laid off about 50 workers locally and altered its footprint here in Mohave County. Foxworth Galbraith closed its location in Kingman right around that time. There has been talk of hiring freezes for the both the county and city. Many in the building trade say that employment is off big time.

I was criticized at times for my support of new retail developments here in Kingman. Sometimes the critics said that my intention was to see Kingman become the next Las Vegas in terms of matching the growth that was seen in the Nevada community (if not Vegas, than Phoenix or somewhere else similar). Other critics, including some that comment here, said that retail jobs wouldn't be good for Kingman because they are low paying jobs. Others said the character of Kingman would be jeopardized by corporate giants moving into this local area (and to that I asked those folks to define the current character as they see it... and they never could).

By now most of us in Mohave County are well aware of some new retail developments that have opened up. The old Wal-Mart and Albertson's shopping center in Kingman has two office retail giants, a national sporting goods chain, a major pet store, a discount clothing store, and a couple of other places that I can't recall off the top of my head. But none of those places are considered 'anchor' tenants like big box retail like the Wal-Mart's, Targets, etc.

We also saw, in recent months, a retail shopping mall (including a Dillard's) in Havasu open up... and now there is a shopping center in Bullhead that sports a Target and a Kohl's.

All of these places seemed to have successful grand openings... and all of them have hired the help that they apparently needed to serve their customers.

I was alerted to an article that appears in the Economic Development Journal of Mohave County for April. On page 17 in the 'Commercial' section is the headline that reads 'New Kohl's usher's in 130 new jobs to Bullhead City'.

My question for discussion is... if this Kohl's was in Kingman and they needed 130 people to work there... how many Kingman residents would have applied for a job at Kohl's??

No comments: