I see that a slew of public officials are in Hamburg this week pitching suppliers of Airbus on the delights and opportunities for expansion they would have if they moved to Escambia County and Northwest Florida.
They are called the Northwest Florida Aerospace Coalition and they are on a mission to share this area's story with folks who may want to expand stateside in connection with the manufacturing of the Airbus A320 passenger airliner that will be built in Mobile.
But don't hold your breath. If there is any fruit to be born from this adventure, it will be at least five to seven years from now according to Stefan Berndes, head of air transport, equipment and materials for the German Aerospace Industries Association, as reported by Pensacola News Journal reporter Kimberly Blair.
Berndes says suppliers are five to seven years away from considering expanding in the U.S.
Which should leave our officials plenty of time to learn some conversational German. See, University of West Florida's Janice Gilley noted that while many Germans speak English, many do not, including many who are suppliers in the Airbus chain.
All the way to Hamburg without, apparently someone among the Panhandle posse who speaks passable German. Sigh.
All the way to Hamburg to hear that synergy among educational institutions, workforce folks and government is important to effective job creation. Sigh.
But in the spirit of keeping the Grinch at bay, let this be a lesson that many economic development seeds don't bloom until long after the person who was in office when they were planted is gone.
Which means someone must be willing to let someone else get the big headline should a supplier ever actually decide to come to this area.
Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup. He has a new book, "The Coming Job War," and in interviews promoting it, he talks about the importance of growing existing small businesses. To Forbes, he also makes the case for focusing job creation at the city level, looking inwardly to foster entrepreneurial energy and help bring new customers to existing businesses and start-ups.
Is the Hamburg trip a bad idea? It certainly seems unlikely to generate any big stocking stuffers this Christmas.
Maybe it ultimately will bear fruit -- either in this decade or in the next. In the meantime, wouldn't it be nice to expend the same amount of excitement and political capital on creating a local climate that sees promising small businesses as worthy of a similar investment?
Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't need a trip to Hamburg to understand that a deep, well-educated labor pool is the best incentive we can offer any would-be employer?
Wouldn't it be nice if small businesses found Pensacola to be a place that embraced experimentation and innovation rather than tut-tutted it until it moves across the bridge to Gulf Breeze like AppRiver. Or expanded to Atlanta like Overgroup.
Instead, we've got the uneasy feeling that somehow, we're getting Hamburglered.