There’s a good chance that anyone who has had young children living in their home at any time since 1994 has been exposed to the rhythmic sounds of “The Circle of Life,” one of those ubiquitous songs from a Disney movie soundtrack — this one from “The Lion King” — that can get in your head and stay there for days.
The song by Elton John is a tribute to the symbiotic nature of the animal world and the contributions to the whole made by the many, with each species doing its part.
Communities have their own circle of life, a fact clearly illustrated by comments at the annual State of the County program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Council for Quality Growth on Thursday.
County commission Chairman Pete Amos and Board of Education Chairwoman Darla Light presented updates on the county’s current status in a big-picture sort of way to the crowd gathered at Lanier Tech. In doing so, they made it obvious that the success story that is Forsyth has been made possible by an intermeshing of positive factors.
Amos noted the ongoing economic growth in the area, referencing 600 new jobs created in the local workforce in 2013, with more than that number already on the books in 2014. Those jobs represent an economic impact of more than $150 million since the beginning of 2013.
Light added that the county’s solid and continually growing business community is a primary reason that the school system is able to consistently shine as one of the best in the state and nation. “I don’t know where Forsyth County Schools would be without our business partners,” she said.
And she’s right, local businesses do invest heavily in the schools —both financially and otherwise — improving the schools by doing so.
But the sort of economic growth and financial stability referenced by Amos doesn’t happen by accident, and having a well-run county and a superior school system are vital parts of the “circle” that make it all possible.
Quality jobs come where there are quality schools. Quality jobs come to counties with a high standard of living, reasonable rates of taxes, good neighborhoods, low crime rates, efficient government services. And then when quality jobs come, the schools get better, the standard of living gets better, the county gets better, and more quality jobs follow as a result.
We forget sometimes how good things are in Forsyth County. There are areas of Georgia and across the nation where 600 new jobs aren’t likely to happen in a decade, much less a year.
Those taking part in Thursday’s program painted a rosy picture of the county’s economic future, as well they should. Because that picture is rosy, schools will be better still and government services will continue to improve.
It’s all part of the circle of economic life, and Forsyth County is the king of the beasts.