Last week while I was on my electronic rehabilitation program there was an interesting article in the AJC about the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal. The headline of the article was “Scandal could hamper city’s business growth” and you can read the whole thing here.
The entire school cheating scandal is a disappointing chapter in Atlanta’s history but one of the most intriguing components of the story is the entanglement of the Atlanta business community in the sordid affair. What I found unique about this particular article is that it hints the City of Atlanta is losing businesses to the cities in North Fulton County because of our superior schools:
The Atlanta Public Schools scandal will deeply hamper the city’s efforts to attract new businesses and jobs, perhaps for years, business and company site selection experts say.
Quality of the local school system is a top factor in company location decisions, especially among large corporations with employee bases that are substantially made up of families.
Atlanta in particular has struggled over the past few years as companies have located outside the city limits, especially in the northern suburbs. Instead of going downtown, the job growth of late has been with companies such as NCR Corp., which moved to Gwinnett County from Ohio, and in the numerous technology firms that now call Alpharetta home.
“The city of Atlanta faces much stiffer competition than it did a decade ago,” said Ron Starner, general manager of Site Selection magazine, an industry periodical.
That’s important because school systems in the northern suburbs — some of which are nationally recognized — are generally considered stronger, which allows the metro area to stay competitive in drawing companies, Starner said. That, however, bypasses the city of Atlanta. (emphasis added)
What? Do you mean to tell me that Atlanta with all those MARTA trains and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of transit infrastructure is losing the competition for jobs because other cities including the ones in their Northern suburbs have better schools and are more conducive to raising families? Whoda thunkit?
I think you get the idea by now but if you aren’t convinced you can use the site search to the right of this screen and find dozens of examples on GA Jim which document what makes Alpharetta and our neighbors in the North Atlanta suburbs special and enables us to attract jobs even in this atrocious economic climate. We provide a superior environment for executives and their employees to raise families at a substantially lower cost than an urban environment.
It really is that simple. If you build a great city for families they will come… and they will bring their businesses with them.