Memphis ranks high on new job creation poll - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis ranks high on new job creation poll

(WMC-TV) - Memphis is abuzz over a new survey that ranks the Bluff City in the top three for job creation.

"It seems that the economy is on its way back," said Memphis resident Catherine Wilson.  "That's a good thing.":

A new Gallup Poll says that Memphis joins Austin and Houston as the top three cities for job creation per capita.

"It certainly makes me feel hopeful about this city," said Memphis resident Davis Smith.

The three cities increased hiring by 38 percent in 2011.

"The world is beginning to pick up what we have known a long time," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Wharton said some of the city's greatest minds have put their heads together to put more people to work.

"We're now cranking out employees who had no skills," said Wharton.  "We're taking a month or so getting them the skills they need."

Wharton said the Workforce Investment Network (WIN) and the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) are changing the landscape of the Memphis job market.

"The Great American Steamboat Company thought it would be able to get 35 percent of its employees from the city of Memphis," said Wharton.  "Guess what.  They got 65 percent of them by working with our WIN program."

WIN trains people at local schools when companies ask for specific skill sets.

"The word is getting out that whatever Memphis doesn't have, it is capable, willing, and ready to go and get it," said Wharton.

Wharton said EDGE makes it easier to do business with Memphis by significantly lowering response time to offers.

"We had an excellent offer just this past week," he said.  "Before we had a combined effort, it would have taken a month.  We responded on the same day we received it because we had a one-stop shop."

Wharton said the ranking will not foster complacency.

"We're proud of it, but we know we have a long way to go."

To see the Gallup poll, click here.

To see the Memphis unemployment rate for February 2012, click here.  For February 2011, click here.

To find out more about job hunting, click here.

To read a press release issued by the Greater Memphis Chamber, click here.

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