What’s become of our focus?….


EADS/Airbus made it official today. They are moving forward with plans to open their first North American assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama….my hometown…Though I haven’t lived in Mobile for 25+ years, I return to the area frequently to visit close family. So I manage to stay abreast of current local affairs. This news is BIG…on an international scale. And it’s with great pride that I will be able to note Mobile is home to such a facility. I always wanted the city to live up to its potential. It’s been a long time coming. Granted, the region is resistant to the change economic prosperity brings. And this was never more evident in the fact that it offered no future to many hoping to make a life in the area. New Orleans, Birmingham, and Atlanta offered more opportunity for those starting out. If you were not involved with a family business in Mobile, there really was not much future for you, economically.

Hopefully this will change with the arrival of Airbus. 1000 full time production jobs are to be created, not to mention the residual industry jobs of related suppliers along the Gulf coast. That being said, I’ve been following..and commenting at the local newspaper (The Mobile Press Register) website : www.al.com/mobile

I was astonished to find so many negative and disparaging remarks…many which apparently come from locals, I presume….Here you have a major industrial player on the world stage approaching the community about a locating a technologically advanced facility there…and these are some of the responses:

“The exporting of jobs by EADS/Airbus. How can the Democrats support this? Obama needs to put a stop to this. Stop Airbus, re-elect Obama…”
“I think France feels the same way we do about illegal aliens and I bet they won’t be hiring any at the Airbus facility! ..”
“I should point out that the ‘Black Codes’ are also French. The first racists laws in North America. Such is war. Welcome to Mobile. “
“Well, instead of “freedom fries”, I will now eat “Airbus fries”
“You forget the primary reason for locating in Alabama is to max profits. And EADS can max profits because this governor gives away the candy store with inducements that must be paid for with things like sales tax on groceries and income tax on the impoverished…”
“Alabama is notorious for socking it to the poor(#1 in the country), and pampering the wealthy…”
And it goes on…and on…and on….Now, I know you will always have naysayers….but the senseless idiocy of these people boggles the mind! The region’s unemployment is higher than the national average the last time I checked….yet so many met the Airbus announcement with criticism and skepticism. And you wonder why the country is in the state it’s in….
I pointed out in the forums that I hoped Airbus execs weren’t reading some of the postings because they might change their mind and go somewhere else. With the economy the way it is, they would likely have little difficulty finding a community more than eager to welcome them.
Hopefully, the venture will be a success for both Airbus and the region. Whether that changes the way these people and millions more across the country view business and productivity…well, that’s another story.
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