Remember when Sears and Montgomery Ward mailed catalogs, huge catalogs, to everyone with an address, I guess. They were among the best known retail outlets in the U.S. Not sure our family ever ordered anything, but know some who did. Clothing, household needs, etc. Montgomery Ward ceased operations years ago and sounds as if Sears is on life-support.
Today, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Target are a few of today’s leaders.
With that thought in mind, been thinking about big and small employers in Bladen County that are no more. N.C. Rural Center posted information several months, maybe years ago, that Bladen lost over 1,000 jobs between 2002 and 2006.
Remember Westpoint Pepperill, Harriett Henderson, Sportee, Ward Brothers Lumber Company, bet you can name many more, large and small that are no longer.
Today, it’s Smithfield Foods, Dupont, Danaher (now different name), Gildan Yarns, and a N.C. DOT Call Center that employs over 130 or more. And there are more, many more. Many are agricultural related, many local like Houston’s Peanuts, Taylor Manufacturing and E.J. Cox Company, and more. Blueberries and swine production have replaced tobacco as the No. 1 crop. My point is, despite losing many large and small employers, despite the fact that our No. 1 crop for many years, has taken a back seat to others more in demand, Bladen County has more jobs available today than ever.
One common thread through it all, Bladen County Economic Development with assistance from N.C. Southeast, based in Bladen. Efforts are ongoing every day, successfully and we are all better off because of their efforts. Some of our industries are national/internationally based, many are local, overall, it’s a pretty good combination of jobs and tax base. We are blessed, but can’t sit on past accomplishments. Efforts must and are continuing, daily.
Infrastructure is important and efforts are ongoing to make Bladen an attractive area for new or the expansion of industries already in the area.
Bladen Community College plays a key role in attracting new industry, and a constantly improving airport is key to future success. Today, jobs are available, just need a better trained workforce, willing to work to make Bladen a better place to live, work and play.
Sometimes, we forget and talk trash about a pretty nice place we call home. I love calling Bladen County home.
Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed. But being negative will guarantee you won’t. Jon Gordon
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell
I am not a product of my circumstances, I AM a product of my decisions. Stephen CoveyShare: