More that five years ago, business and civic leaders in Jonesboro realized that the city and the surrounding area had a significant economic development problem. Jobs were relatively plentiful, as evidenced by historically low unemployment rates and the record number of workers employed in the region.
The stagnation of wages was the problem. The city’s median income hovered around $ 42,000 per year, well below national and national averages. Jonesboro Unlimited, a nonprofit economic development organization, has launched a campaign, “Momentum Jonesboro,” to add 2,500 direct jobs to the area with salaries exceeding the median average by 2021.
Now that the goal has been reached, a second phase of the campaign is about to start. JU launched the Jonesboro Community Survey with the aim of planning the next steps in job creation, said JU President and CEO Mark Young.
“Our strategic plan has served Jonesboro well,” said Young. “Now that we are in the fifth year of our five-year plan, it’s time to set new goals as part of our second Momentum Jonesboro initiative.”
Five sectors have been targeted for growth: healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, logistics and agriculture. An influx of better-paying jobs will be the key to changing the pay gap, said Young, who also heads the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce. Since the start of the campaign, which cost $ 3.7 million to run, nearly 4,000 well-paying jobs have been created in these…
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