• 57°

A Rowan Thanksgiving

Things to be thankful for in Rowan County this Thanksgiving:

• More jobs. Manufacturing is going strong in Rowan again. The Freightliner plant in Cleveland has a goal of adding 1,000 jobs this year. Gildan Yarns is opening plants in Rowan and Davie. September’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate means too  many people are still out of work, but this is an improvement. Think back to January 2010, when the rate hit 14 percent. That was nightmarish. This is promising.

• Growing retail. The announcement that Hobby Lobby and Dick’s Sporting Goods will open stores in a new shopping center, Shoppes at Summit Park,  cheered local shoppers and business owners alike. More stores mean more sales tax dollars going into local government coffers here instead of in other counties. The big box stores get a great deal of attention, but their arrival can help smaller stores too simply by keeping shoppers in town. And a thriving retail scene can help with economic development, according to Robert Van Geons, executive director of RowanWorks. “Whether it should be or not, corporate retail is a first-glance indicator of the economic health of a community,” Van Geons says. That goes for residents as well as prospective industries.

• Lower gas prices. We don’t know how long these prices will last, but it sure helps the wallet when you can buy gasoline for less than $3 a gallon. That gives consumers more discretionary money, which is another way to stimulate the economy. According to the Associated Press, optimism about income growth and future spending pushed U.S. consumer sentiment to a seven-year high in November, and lower prices at the pump help drive that optimism.

• Renewed spirit of collaboration. No, we can’t say that about Washington, D.C., but elected officials in Rowan are coming closer to being on the same page. And local educational institutions — colleges and public schools — have joined forces to improve literacy among both children and adults. When it comes to community improvements, everyone has ideas. It makes sense to work together.

• So much more: Having any list at all runs the risk of leaving out someone or something important. Rowan County is blessed in many ways, from natural resources to public servants, volunteers and kindnesses we show each other. Though we have our challenges, all in all, life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Comments

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18