Kasim Reed

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A lot of people talk about what it takes to create jobs. Here in Atlanta, we’re actually doing it. A recent study by Arizona State University found that Atlanta ranks number 2 in the nation for job growth among major metropolitan areas, following Houston by less than 1 percentage point.

The “Hire One Campaign”
Launched by the City of Atlanta in 2011 in partnership with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, started with a simple premise for businesses in the metropolitan region: Hire at least one employee. Since its launch, more than 1,400 companies participated in the year-long campaign, leading to more than 16,200 jobs for people. The “Hire One” job fair drew more than 3,000 people, of which several hundred were placed in employment.

“Tweet My Jobs”
A year later, we launched “Tweet My Jobs,” a mobile app designed to let job seekers find available positions in a quick, easy and convenient manner. Through the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency’s (AWDA) One Stop Center, more than 98,000 adults, dislocated workers and youth customers were provided employment and training activities from July 2011 through September 2012. More than 1,700 jobs have been created at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since the opening of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in May 2012.

Invest Atlanta
Responding to changing economic dynamics and untapped business and investment opportunities, the City of Atlanta launched Invest Atlanta in January 2012. Formerly known as the Atlanta Development Authority, Invest Atlanta is the city’s official economic development agency and is tasked with making Atlanta the most economically competitive and dynamic city in the world. Last year, Invest Atlanta had 35 project wins, facilitated the creation of 2,024 direct and 1,292 indirect/induced jobs, and attracted over $700 million in private sector capital. The agency attracted $66 million in capital investment from private investors to launch two new housing initiatives which have already enabled 150 families to purchase homes in the city. After developing an international trade and investment program, Invest Atlanta led a trade mission to China to help small and medium-sized businesses expand their international footprint. The trip resulted in 32 export trade leads, 13 foreign direct investment leads, 9 projects and expected potential export sales of $88 million. In an effort to spur innovation, the agency launched ‘Startup Atlanta’ to support entrepreneurs and planned the first ever citywide hack-a-thon to motivate the computer coding community to help solve city problems using technology and creativity.

Welcoming Porsche’s North American Headquarters
In November 2012, I was proud to join Governor Nathan Deal in welcoming Porsche as the first company to build their North American headquarters in the “Aerotropolis Atlanta” business district. Located at One Porsche Drive, the $100 million complex will soon house 400 employees, including 100 jobs that will be new to Georgia. In addition to corporate offices, the complex also will be comprised of a Technical Service and Training Center, a Conference Center and a Museum. As an industry first, the Porsche headquarters campus will feature a Customer Experience Center including a 1.6-mile test track and handling road course to showcase the capabilities of Porsche’s industry-leading vehicles.

When I ran for Mayor, I promised to put people first, and it’s paying off.  As we continue to build bi-partisan support for common sense policies, I look forward to continuing to support businesses, entrepreneurs,  and other employers that are bringing the jobs of tomorrow to Atlanta.