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HKG

Diversity...where's the commitment?

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I hate to bring "diversity" up in this forum, but here goes. If so many Fortune 500 companies are "committed to diversity," then why don't they relocate their headquarters to Memphis or other cities with large minority populations (e.g., Richmond, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans, St. Louis.) ? If not relocation, then why not a big factory/distribution center? I know Atlanta gets a lot of corp. h.q., but the other cities, including Memphis, do not.

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I think it doesn't take a whole lot to figure out the answer to that question. A large part of it is, of course, perception (which is largely the reality) that majority non-White cities tend to have anti-business liberal Democrats in leadership (potentially corrupt themselves), with high crime, dangerous and substandard public education, decaying infrastructure, and high taxes (all because of the lack of more economically diverse residents). Although this may be the extreme end example, how would the employees of a Fortune 500 company react if the CEO announced he was moving the HQ to Detroit or Newark ? While Memphis isn't nearly as bad, it's not exactly at the top of the list of HQ relocation choices. You can see why "diversity" is often a very loaded word.

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The bulk of F-500 companies are located in cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas, all of which are highly diverse cities.

And to address the other point--they're all democratic.

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The bulk of F-500 companies are located in cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas, all of which are highly diverse cities.

And to address the other point--they're all democratic.

NYC has had an "R" Mayor since 1994 (albeit RINOs), as did LA for 8 years in the '90s, and Dallas, too, but most of those cities have held important business HQs for years, and have tended to have a (somewhat) pro-business atmosphere (aside from San Francisco, which is a very hostile environment, although surprisingly in a better position under Willie Brown, who passed for their version of "Conservative" as an ultraliberal -- though SF's biggest problem is that is simply too expensive for most to afford. Lower and working-class Blacks, for example, have been priced out of the market). The question is where they will be in the coming decades.

Also to add, too, is that it's not just enough to be pro-big business HQ (virtually any Mayor of any political stripe who isn't has got to be incredibly stupid), but to foster a small-business and entrepreneurial environment, and many of these major cities often tend to favor the bigger over the upstarts.

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I think General education, and standard of living are the main problems

The schools in Memphis right up to the college level arent top notch.

Rhodes and U of M are both excellent schools but compare that to Harvard and MIT in boston, GaTech in Atlanta etc. you can see where memphis might lag behind in the educational status of its workforce. the elementary and primary (high school) education level with the exception of like 3-4 high schools is abysmal. even compared to Shelby county schools.

I went to Cordova High school when it was still shelby county school, i went back a few months ago to talk to a teacher there. boy, what a change for the worse. its rather sad.

there needs to be programs in place that teach minorities, especially in the inner city the importance of education. The facilities are there, with time and effort things can improve. This might sound rather negative, but i do believe there may be a general apathy among some in the inner city towards education.

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there needs to be programs in place that teach minorities, especially in the inner city the importance of education. The facilities are there, with time and effort things can improve. This might sound rather negative, but i do believe there may be a general apathy among some in the inner city towards education.

It suprised me that groups like INROADS doesn't have a precollege program in Memphis like they do in Nashville. I think a magnet school program and open enrollment (not having to go to the school closest to your home) will help improve Memphis City Schools. Don't they already have open enrollement to an extent? The 35 million dollar Southwind High School should become a magnet school IMO and be open to all Shelby County residents.

The way I think we can attract more business is more marketing. We have alot of tourists coming into town and we should try to make them want to live move here. Obviously, nobody will move here without a job so we need to try to start a marketing initative like Metro Detroit's Automation Alley. Since Memphis International is a hub airport, there are alot of people that never leave the airport so we need to tell the transients Memphis is a great place to stay. I'm not sure if they already do this, but the Memphis Regional Chamber/MPACT should publish a free magazine that highlights metro Memphis and shows its a great place to move or start a business.

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Aren't the majority of American big and major cities predominately non-white?

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As far as tax incentives for business, specifically the PILOT program in Memphis which appears to be much used/abused--In Minnesota, they have a similar program, but before the busines gets the incentives, they have to do an audited social cost analysis. Essentially, this means that the pay scales have to be high enough so that the employees don't qualify for medicaid, housing subsidies, or food stamps.

If the jobs don't qualify, the business doesn't get the tax incentives.

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A comparative study in 2002 placed the high school graduation rate for Memphis at 42% - second worst among the fifty largest U.S. cities (Cleveland was the worst). Such statistics do not encourage anyone to relocate their corporate headquarters to Memphis. I also refer to This Workforce Study by the Memphis Regional Chamber from last year, which indicated that the Memphis is unattractive to outside companies due largely to a poorly skilled workforce.

However, such reports don't really bother a company looking for a place to locate a distribution center. Memphis has the reputation of being a great place to relocate your business if all you need is low-wage manual labor.

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I think General education, and standard of living are the main problems

The schools in Memphis right up to the college level arent top notch.

Rhodes and U of M are both excellent schools but compare that to Harvard and MIT in boston, GaTech in Atlanta etc. you can see where memphis might lag behind in the educational status of its workforce. the elementary and primary (high school) education level with the exception of like 3-4 high schools is abysmal. even compared to Shelby county schools.

I went to Cordova High school when it was still shelby county school, i went back a few months ago to talk to a teacher there. boy, what a change for the worse. its rather sad.

there needs to be programs in place that teach minorities, especially in the inner city the importance of education. The facilities are there, with time and effort things can improve. This might sound rather negative, but i do believe there may be a general apathy among some in the inner city towards education.

Rhodes and CBU are right up there with the best; the issue is the number of higher education students that the city draws from elsewhere, and the diversity of higher educational offerings here. Many of the top-tier cities have 2 or 3 major research universities, and several smaller ones. They don't all have to be Harvards, but usually having one helps. I think Memphis could benefit from a private research university setting up here; I don't think it would detract from U of M at all.

The issue with Rhodes and CBU is their small size and limited graduate offerings. If you could get CBU to pursue setting up world-class engineering and medical school programs, and get Rhodes to set up a top-tier law school, I think that would help the community out.

I think Memphis should also pursue residents from an international scale. Bring in new blood with different perspectives, and show them that Memphis is a place that they can make a life for themselves and their family while making a difference in a small but growing community. I think urban communities could benefit from tutelage, mentoring, and assistance from not just others in the Memphis community, but also native Africans as well as from European and Asian immigrants. Generally, immigrant parents regardless of race don't tolerate much attitude when it comes to education.

Legal immigrants from every continent have a lot to offer for Memphis, and I think the region should make it a top 10, if not a top 5 priority to recruit them (I think crime, education, world class health care through sustaining and improving St. Jude, LeBonheur, etc are undoubtedly the top 3 priorities).

i don't know how to solve the public schools. The first thing is to get rid of those with a feudalistic perspective over their constituents (i.e. buying leather chairs and that crap). As long as that mentality persists in the leadership, I don't know how much you can do to avoid wasting money.

As far as tax incentives for business, specifically the PILOT program in Memphis which appears to be much used/abused--In Minnesota, they have a similar program, but before the busines gets the incentives, they have to do an audited social cost analysis. Essentially, this means that the pay scales have to be high enough so that the employees don't qualify for medicaid, housing subsidies, or food stamps.

If the jobs don't qualify, the business doesn't get the tax incentives.

Anyone know what the argument is against TIFs in Memphis? Seems other cities are using that avenue to some success. I think Indy, Louisville, and San Antonio use TIFs rather than PILOTs.

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Amos Maki's report (linked below) concerning local workers' skills in the June 22nd Commercial Appeal pretty much nails the issue. The report covers findings of a workforce study commissioned by the Memphis Regional Chamber, and the study essentially finds the area workforce to be generally under-educated and low-skilled; in other words, not ready to compete in a knowledge-based economy.

I don't know all the details of the participants (it did seem to be a mostly business crowd), but I found it troubling that other than U of M president Shirley Raines, there was no mention of participation by other education leaders, notably the superintendents of Memphis City and Shelby Co. schools or other school districts.

My personal opinion is the schools are failing us, especially in math and science, and it's jobs using those skills which tend to pay the higher wages.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...4792099,00.html

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I think Memphis could benefit from a private research university setting up here; I don't think it would detract from U of M at all.

Yes indeed.

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Yes indeed.

Well, I'm starting an endowment right now. So far . . . $10.00. :( Maybe I should drink less.

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