A central Kentucky mayor believes economic gains in one community can mean benefits in other nearby towns. Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner is welcoming Amazon and its 20 million dollar investment to the Bluegrass. The on-line retailer expects to hire more than 500 people eventually for a customer service facility.
There will also be hundreds of seasonal workers. Burtner says he and other local officials have greeted the governor a number of times this year.
“This is the fourth time this year that the governor’s been in Clark County to announce either new industries or expansions,” said Burtner.
Burtner says economic successes come when all interested parties put their collective efforts together.
“Number one, the attitude says that we’re gonna work together to cooperate and collaborate and number two we’re gonna be aggressive about job creation, whether it’s one job, ten, fifty, or a hundred, or five hundred. We’re gonna be aggressive,” added Burtner.
Thirdly, Burtner says it’s important to do all that can be done to eliminate barriers to responsible economic development. The central Kentucky mayor says commuting workers in the region are spreading economic benefits where ever they go to work.
“We have a lot of people who work elsewhere and commute elsewhere, but there’s a lot of people who live elsewhere and commute to Clark, so we’re all intertwined and tied together and we all need to be working toward a common good,” explained Burtner.
The mayor says it’s been a tale of two economies in his community. In late 2009, Ed Burtner says his city lost some 700 industrial jobs over a five month period and experienced double digit unemployment. Burtner says it stayed that way for about two years. But for the first two quarters of this year, unemployment’s been below eight percent.