How Economic Development Breaks Calculators

Recently, it was announced that an automaker was offered 23 million dollars to move its headquarters to a Southern State in hopes of spurring job growth. According to news accounts, this mini growth spurt is expected to produce 2100 jobs. So by my estimates that’s 23 million paid for 2100 new jobs. That can break your calculator. Try to divide 2100 by 23 million and see if you don’t get some strange numbers as the answer.

You don’t have to be an engineer to see the problem. However, you may have to be a MBA in order justify the payment. For example: how much 3D printing gear or fashion startup materials could be acquired with a 23 million dollar investment in makerspace development? Would this process yield more than 2100 additional jobs. Put another way, would the investment in makerspace development yield more workforce improvements than the calculator breaking exercise?

As always, your mileage may vary. Execution does matter. Makerspace development like any other economic development activity requires the support of the entire community. Makerspace development also requires cultural changes or recalibrations within the community unlike poaching businesses from other parts of the country. The good news is that the calculation is fairly simple. You invest in local makerspace development and the entire community benefits from better jobs.

Zachary Alexander