Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why Do We Get Inflated New Job Projections?

In the past couple of months we have been given, what I feel, are inflated job projection numbers for two development projects.  This is usually done when the city council has to look and vote on various financial packages for the developments.

Holiday Inn Express

The city council was told that this 112 room, mid-priced, limited service hotel would generate 70 new employees.  One of the council members, Michelle Distler questioned this figure, for various reasons.  Her figure of approximately 25 employees makes more sense.

Those of us who have either stayed at, or done business with these types of hotels know that the figure of approximately 25 employees makes more sense.  Let's break it down. 

Maintenance: 2, if they are lucky 3
Housekeeping:  8-10
Front end:  8-10  This would include a GM, ass't GM, front desk clerks during the day and a night clerk/auditor.  Unless they have a large number of meeting rooms (which they usually don't) the GM or the assistant would also function as sales manager.  Keeping in mind their function would be to get businesses to have folks stay there and use the meeting rooms.  With no kitchen, all food would be catered in.  Morning continental breakfasts would be handled by one of the front desk personnel.

Do we need this hotel?  Yes   Would 25 new jobs benefit the city?  Yes  Do we need the over inflated potential new job figures?  No

West Link Business Park

OK, the first building is going in.  It will be 170,000 sq ft.  That's a nice size.  The projected new jobs figure was stated as 250.  Who is kidding who?  We have all seen buildings like this in other business parks.  They are usually subdivided into smaller units.  Believe the builder even said no unit would be less than 20,000 sq ft.  Where are the 250 potential new jobs coming from?  You would need one heck of a manufacturing company, taking the whole building, and possibly running multiple shifts.  Or, would dividing the building into smaller units, the kind we've seen elsewhere, that have warehouse space (and workers) and some front office personnel be more plausible?  These types of facilities then usually employ between 5-8 people.  That means we would be looking at between 40-60 new jobs.  It is my understanding that the local chamber was given a presentation about this and that the dividing up of the building was a key factor.  Also, look at the artist's rendition of what the building would look like at
Are there even enough parking places planned for 250 or are they planned for the subdividing of the building?

Do we need this development?  Yes  Would 40-50 new jobs benefit the city?  Yes  Do we need the over inflated potential new job figures?  No

Going forward, I will have no problems in labeling over inflated potential new jobs as BS.

The city manager has expressed concern that local bloggers and local media sometimes provide bad or misinformation.  Maybe, just maybe, she should look at the information that the SEDC provides to the city council when it comes to info that the council relies on to approve financial incentives.

WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.
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