Craig's Corner - 7.26.12
Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 3:00 pm
By: Craig Fitzhugh, House Minority Leader
As we recover from this severe recession, jobs are on everyone’s mind, and rightfully so. We must grow jobs here in rural West Tennessee so that our families can sustain and improve our way of life.
We must increase educational attainment so that our children and grandchildren can not only compete for 21st Century jobs, but can find those jobs right here in West Tennessee.
The news, however, is not all bad and, sometimes, we need to be reminded of success stories that occur right in our own back yard.
In just the past week, I’ve been privileged to help celebrate two success stories here at home.
Last Saturday in Ripley, American Greetings celebrated the 40th anniversary of their operation. Forty years is a long time just to survive in the manufacturing world, but this is an company that employs West Tennesseans, that prints over 90 percent of the entire production of American Greeting cards and has just been recognized as the largest greeting card company in the world. That’s pretty significant!
This company and these Tennessee workers have shown that we can compete, and compete well, in this global economy.
Less than a week later, I was in Friendship to celebrate another success at Advantage Manufacturing.
Many will recall, about 20 years ago, Tupperware Manufacturing closed and outsourced jobs. A group of former Tupperware employees knew they had a valuable skill so they used personal funds, including their retirement savings, to start Advantage Manufacturing.
The City of Friendship, its mayor and the State of Tennessee pitched in and their company was launched. Twenty years later, it’s still growing!
They plan to add 50 more jobs in the near future; a tremendous success story.
These are just two recent examples that show the type of work ethic we have in West Tennessee. There are many other examples of companies – small and large – working through these tough times to survive, grow, and provide valuable jobs for our citizens.
I am honored to represent these and other businesses and their employees who make West Tennessee a better place to live.
Craig Fitzhugh, Craig's Corner