By Special to the Daily World
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed participated recently in a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., to discuss the trend of companies choosing to “insource” jobs and make new economic investments in the United States.
The all-day program began with a roundtable discussion hosted by the president and the vice president to discuss the economic trends that support the decision by corporate executives to invest and bring jobs back to the United States. Participants included senior administration officials, business experts, labor leaders and two elected officials: Reed and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
“The American people have made it clear that their top concerns are job creation and economic development,” said Reed. “President Barack Obama has responded accordingly throughout his first term on vital initiatives such as the American Jobs Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Today’s roundtable discussion is yet another example of how President Obama and his administration are focused on putting more Americans back to work in cities such as Atlanta through innovative public-private partnerships among business and labor leaders and elected officials.”
In December, Reed joined Obama and former President Bill Clinton at the White House for the announcement of a $4 billion effort to increase the energy efficiency of government and private sector buildings, aiming for fuel savings and job creation at no cost to taxpayers.
During the roundtable discussion, Obama queried business leaders about their decision-making processes in choosing to bring jobs back to the United States. He specifically asked for details on the factors that make the nation more attractive for businesses when planning where to locate their operations. The president also asked participants about how business leaders and elected officials can accelerate insourcing and economic development efforts.
Last year, Reed included economic development in the city’s budget for the first time in years and funded those efforts in a meaningful way. This allowed the city to hire a new economic development team, market the city domestically and internationally, and provide assistance to existing businesses growing in metro Atlanta. This funding led to the creation of more than 1,500 new jobs and $175 million in private industry investment.
The city of Atlanta also offered a number of incentives for job creation and capital investment. These include tax increment financing for major developments, opportunity zones to encourage job creation in targeted areas, and support from the city’s workforce development agency. Those incentives have proven results, including the announcement last May by Porsche Cars North America to build a new headquarters in Georgia, creating approximately 100 jobs over the next three years.
The new complex, representing an investment of up to $100 million, will be located adjacent to the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal now under construction at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and scheduled to open in spring 2012. The new headquarters will not only be home to Porsche Cars North America but also to Porsche Financial Services Inc. and Porsche Business Services Inc. Other Porsche entities will be included, building a solid foundation for further expansion of Porsche’s largest market worldwide and poising the company for continued success in the United States.
Reed continues to invest in infrastructure improvements that positively impact the businesses in the city through water and sewer improvements, his support of the Transportation Investment Act and the new international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson airport.