Weekly Update: How we're working for more good jobs


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If you were perusing the news yesterday, you probably saw articles about a consensus set of proposals we’ve been working on to accelerate economic growth in Memphis.

Check them out: Our news release | Memphis Business Journal | Daily Memphian | Commercial Appeal | Memphis Flyer | Local Memphis

There’s a lot of jargon and discussion of process in those articles, but I want to translate all of this into the most important part: Jobs.


The pursuit of continued job growth is what prompted us to pull together leaders from all corners of our community to build consensus around this plan. When complete, we’ll increase what we do for our workforce, and we’ll build a joint venture with EDGE and the Greater Memphis Chamber to include more accountability and resources into a data-driven approach toward recruiting new businesses and helping our current businesses grow.

Using data and research to guide decisions and then holding institutions accountable has been a hallmark of how we’ve operated City Hall. It’s great to see that catching on with our partners in the economic development sphere.

Plenty of people were involved in this consensus plan, but I'll single out two today: City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd and County Commissioner Willie Brooks. Both chaired respective task forces on this topic in recent months, all with the goal of hearing from all corners of this community and elevating good ideas. We wouldn’t be here without either one of them.

We have good things going in the local economy, with 14,000 more Memphians employed than three years ago, billions of dollars of new development, and landmark new projects. But we also know that we can accelerate our momentum, so that every Memphian feels it. That’s why we work to reduce crime, reduce poverty, improve infrastructure, improve educational systems, and strengthen our economic development ecosystem.

Follow along: As much as we roll up our sleeves and tackle challenges here at City Hall every day, I also get excited to go to as many community events as I can squeeze in — particularly on the weekends. Hearing directly from you about your concerns and what you’re seeing is one of my favorite parts of the job.

We try to share where we visit on social media, particularly Twitter. I encourage you to follow along to see when we’re in your neighborhood.

Thank you, veterans: In observance of Veterans Day, City offices will be closed Monday and solid waste collection will be delayed by one day all week long next week.

On behalf of all 650,000 Memphians, I say thank you to all who have served our country.

Congratulations, Joann: We’ve doubled minority contracting in our first two fiscal years at City Hall. A big reason is the daily leadership of Diversity & Compliance Director Joann Massey, who was recently named a finalist for the Navigator Award, a national honor for top officials in cities. Congrats, Joann!

Welcome to Hoop City: It’s my favorite time of the year, when you can look forward to a Tigers or Grizzlies basketball game almost every night of the week. The Grizzlies are off to a good start at 6-4, and I’m just as excited as you are about Penny Hardaway’s first season as coach of the Tigers.

Hope to see you at FedExForum this winter!

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