Over 1,200 new jobs come to Jonesboro last year. Officials with Jonesboro Unlimited made that announcement Thursday. Jonesboro Unlimited was created after a three-point-six million dollar fundraising campaign to attract new industry and jobs to Jonesboro. 2017 was the first year and an update on the effort was presented. Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited Chris Barber.
"From our work in 2017, we were happy to report that over $100 million in capital investments took place in Jonesboro and over 1,200 jobs were reported," said Barber. "We are well on our way to our goal of 2,500 new jobs by 2021 mainly in five targeted industries."
Those targeted industries are healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, logistics, and agriculture. The goal of Jonesboro Unlimited was to bring over 25-hundred direct new jobs to Jonesboro by 2021. Barber says they will continue to add to that number this year through a targeted plan in 2018.
"We will host two site consultant events in 2018," said Barber. "We will also attend four site consultant events as well across the nation to get our name out there for national and international recruitment."
Mark Young is president of Jonesboro Unlimited. He says a trip to Greenville, South Carolina will occur in April to try to see what Greenville did to spur economic development. Young tells what he hopes will come from the trip.
"We want ideas on what this community did to spur economic development," said Young. "This was a name that kept coming up when we did more research and we want to know what they did so maybe we can adopt similar measures."
Young says a lot has been done in Jonesboro to attract more industry, but he says there is still a long way to go because of some of the challenges that still face Jonesboro, such as infrastructure improvements and recruiting high-paying jobs to the region.