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Design-Related Jobs Up 30% in Winston-Salem

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The Triad's economy is beginning to show signs of progressing in a new direction...at least in numbers. So far, W-S and the Triad have seen a significant increase in design related jobs over the past 5 years according to NCSA. This new trend, along with a new institute planned for PTRP will hopefully ease the negative impact of the loss of so many manufacturing jobs. Its almost impossible for this idea to fail with the support of 3 cities who strongly support the arts.

from journalnow.com

http://journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pa...s=1037645509099

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This is great news for the Triad! The Triad IS growing, just not as fast as the Triangle and Charlotte metros. It would be cool if there would be an increase in other arts related jobs: music, visual art, etc. I think the Triad is realizing the art base they have and is starting to tap into it's potential.

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I'm happy to see that they are moving forward with the design institute. I think it could help Winston-Salem carve out a niche for itself that is related to bio-tech but also complements other industries. It would be great if they could model it after some hybrid of Columbia's architecture school and MIT's Media Lab. Columbia provides an intellectual, theoretical foundation for architecture and design in general and MIT does a great job of expanding upon Columbia-type thinking and joining with industry to implement the conceptual into real world situations. I also think it would be valuable to include Wake Forest in this initiative, with NCSA still in place as the lead institution, to provide some cross-over with the more traditional biotech thinking behind PTRP.

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One of the local designers interviewed for the Journal article notes: "If you're in a saturated market like L.A., you've got to be really aggressive to achieve anything," said Glenn Johnson, the director of B/E Aerospace Industrial Design Studio. Here, he said, "There's no competition. And it's a lot better place to live."

I think a lot of young people would take exception to the notion that the Triad is a better place to live than LA, NY, SF, etc.

A key issue beyond the obvious need for job creation is the retention of young, well-educated, ambitious designers. Winston-Salem loses a lot of its college student population once they graduate and a big part of that beyond the job opportunities is that W-S is not the most interesting place to be if you're a well-educated, single, straight or gay 20-30 something. It would be great if the city, as part of the initiative behind the design institute, could somehow foster cultural, night-life developments that could cater to an educated, young consumer. I realize the city and the residents are doing a lot, yet places like Raleigh are considered much more attractive places to be for graduates of W-S's universities and young residents of W-S. Just a thought, but a valid one if the city wants to get serious about attracting that type of resident...

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