Two months after James and Sioux Hill of Chandler told the Payson Town Council they were interested in moving their cabinet door manufacturing company to Payson, they had 61 job applications on their desks from Rim country residents.
The Hills, who own the Door Stop, a mom-and-pop manufacturing plant that employs 40 people, didn't ask for applications. The company's phone number and address were never printed or announced. The move isn't a sure thing.
Nevertheless, 61 people tracked the company down to apply for jobs that pay between $20,000 and $30,000 plus benefits on the off chance that the Hills decide to relocate their plant here.
For every person who's already applied, there are likely 10 more who will apply if the relocation becomes reality.
That's good, hard evidence that people here are hungry for better-paying jobs and benefits for their families. No one expects to get rich off a $25,000-a-year job, but for many people here that would be a nice step up.
We hope the town council, which already seems dedicated to improving the town's employment situation, takes this as its cue to find creative ways to welcome the Door Stop and other good-paying companies to our community.
An eager, reliable work force is an attractive asset for any community, but if the jobs don't materialize, those workers won't stay here for long.
Although the Internet is providing more and more business owners with the freedom to live and work where they want, small commercial lots and high property prices continue to discourage firms from actually making the move here.
Town officials are obligated to protect the public's interest which includes stimulating the local economy and preventing the bulk of the town's work force from relocating elsewhere.