Well, that makes sense.

Take a look at what the new CEO of Advance Auto Parts had to say about why he is relocating and re-organizing so many jobs to the Twin Cities (although he does promise not to be abandoning the Roanoke area):

"Still, workers there -- as well as local politicians and newspapers -- aren't blind to the Minnesota expansion. Jackson said one main reason he wants to grow here is to tap into the area's 18 Fortune 500 companies. Advance, which employs about 1,600 people in Roanoke, is that area's only company to crack the Fortune 500.

Having a major airport here is also a plus, as Roanoke's airport recently was named one of the country's 100 most endangered.

"If you add up all the revenues of Target, Best Buy, Supervalu, General Mills and so on, it's about $200 billion," Jackson said. "In Roanoke, it's $2 billion.

"So it's 100-to-1 in terms of our opportunity to look across the Twin Cities to see if there's talent that will help us go even faster and more effectively." (via The Strib)

It doesn't feel right, and it hurts to admit - but the guy is right. Who would want to locate a major national business in a place where there are no other major nationals?

The Roanoke Region continuously attempts to frame itself as a great place for business. But what happens when you cannot get the employees you need?

I can tell you the story of a local employer, who in the 3 years since they opened here - have run through all the decent, hard working employees they could. Now they are left with whatever walks in off the street. Of course, this is due in large part to management issues (poor employee retention policies), but the key is - there are no more skilled workers to do the jobs this employer needs.

And we are not talking about Brain Surgery here folks.

New hires are not willing to do the work required of them without complaint, are instantly jealous of what other employees might have (regardless of how long they have been there), and have a severe distrust and dislike of anyone with any sort of management power. And they lack both the basic common sense which guides a person to do a good job, and the education to meet anything but the minimum requirements of the job. (Speeling optshunul)

This is probably why the new CEO of Advance wants to stay put.

I don't blame the City Schools, or the County ones; I blame the culture that allows people to walk about, shuffling feet and slack-jawed and ignorant of how to spell Saturday.

That's why we cannot and will not compete for any major operation to relocate.

Hard truth, but it has to break eventually.