Clean, light manufacturing firms ... Must have clean, light manufacturing firms ...
For more than a decade now, recruiting clean, light industry to town has been the No. 1 priority on Payson's list of things to do for economic development because those companies generally pay higher wages than retail, service and hospitality businesses.
During community planning meetings and coffee klatch strategy sessions people here have established "clean, light manufacturing" as the town's standard and mantra.
Trouble is, those kinds of companies are tough to attract to small towns where land costs are high and the work force is limited.
Through the efforts of the town, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Economic Development Corporation a volunteer group dedicated to helping new and established businesses Payson has managed to successfully recruit exactly two manufacturers in the past eight years.
Obviously, clean, light industry officials haven't been beating down our door to move here, and, until recently, our town leadership wasn't doing much to help welcome them in.
It's been refreshing and exciting, therefore, to watch our town and chamber leaders work together to find creative ways to help the owners of The Door Stop a cabinet door manufacturing company that promises to bring to town 75 good-paying jobs and millions in payroll and residual revenue find a suitable building site here.
Chamber leaders convinced the owners of the firm, who've been having trouble filling positions in their current Chandler location, that Payson workers are hungry for good-paying jobs with benefits.
And when it looked like the company wasn't going to find an affordable building site, town officials crafted a clever plan to relocate a town maintenance yard to free up five acres of town-owned property for sale.
It's encouraging to see that our current leadership understands how important it is to recruit high-paying employers to the area, and that it can be done with creative savvy rather than tax dollars.