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The New Economy provides new opportunities

Russell Hale
Saturday, Jan 1, 2005

There was a time when every worker thought if he could get a good, solid job with a good, solid manufacturer, he was set. Those times are no more. To borrow from Huxley's "Brave New World," it's a Bold New Economy – built on speed, change and global reach.

There was a time when succeeding in business was like chess, where solid, well-planned moves were rules for success. Now, if you are going to sit at the game table in today's economy, chess is no longer a contest of pensive strategy.

Instead, it's a three-dimensional, digital game blending quick decisions and risk, where there's no time to be sure, because if you don't move now, you will lose your turn. It's a new game, and for the right players it can be exciting. Those who do not recognize that the game has changed don't stay at the table for long.

It seems that every week on the news we hear that a major company has filed bankruptcy and another is on the brink. What's wrong with the economy? Generally, businesses are not failing because the economy is bad. They are failing because they have not adapted to The New Economy. They have become dinosaurs. The economy moves on.

Generally, the economy is not bad; it's just different. We are no longer an industrial society. We are a society of instant information – a wired world.

For those who are willing to recognize the dynamic rules of The New Economy and are willing to adapt, this is a time of exceptional opportunity and boundless potential.

There was a time when workers. Moved to the Upper Cumberland for good manufacturing jobs. Now, mirroring the national trend manufacturing jobs are down in the area (down by 3,600 since 1999), but service-based positions are up (an increase of 4,280 in that same time span). You may find the assembly line worker from Crotty now serving smoked salmon at O'Charley's and the machinist laid off at Emerson laying digital cable.

Certainly, industries will continue to be significant to the economy of the Upper Cumberland region. But the balance is changing as more and more service and technology-based companies are growing here.

Overall, if we are responsive, The New Economy can bring opportunities for a new era of growth in our communities.

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