Saturday, July 15, 2006

Workforce Woes

NAFTA has little to do with the job situation in Greenville. The problem lies within the community. Industry will move here because it can get cheap labor, only to find out later that the workers are not worth even bothering with. And that hurts the qualified skilled labor force that can actually provide reliable service to an employer.

The whining, welfare workforce in this town will forever make it even less desirable to future investors unless they just want people to push brooms or hire the type that stand in the aisles of Wal-Mart to ignore you.

If the North wind blows in the smell of cooking rice to the city, I wonder what comes through when the South wind passes over the waste water treatment plant?

The writer makes a good point. It is difficult to find people in the Delta who truly want to work. Sure they take the job when offered, but they fail to see the connection between performance and paycheck.

If they pass a pre-employment drug screen, which is a big "if" in the Delta, employees enter a race to see who can do the least for the longest. If you address their performance, you are being discriminatory because "no one else does any more than me"... which in most cases, is true.

They don't care if they are fired because they can then get unemployment, food stamps, TANF, and eventually disability income. Most will qualify for Medicaid which provides the same level of medical care provided through employee benefits, for a mere $3.00 co-pay.

So, what are the incentives for a person to enter the unskilled workforce of the Delta? They are all listed above. You have to have worked to qualify for most of the state and federal assistance programs, so to take a job and then lose it, becomes the only prequalifying event.

What has been created in the Delta is a subculture who is very adept at how to "work the system". The result is that programs intended to be temporary subsistence for the needy have evolved into full time careers for the lazy.

We created this system and have permitted its abuse for years. As I stated before, not until we make working more lucrative than not working, will we attract a workforce that values a job.


1 comment:

Local Reflector said...

Look higher up the social totem pole if we're searching for reasons why the work force isn't strong and why industry recruitment is such a tough job. To lay industrial recruiting efforts solely on the "lazy" gives the "lazy" class credit for working hard enough to actually ruin industrial development.

I'll argue that we should look to those who oppose too much Greenville connection to the proposed I-69 and those who oppose running I-69 through Bolivar County because it will make it more difficult to plow the fields. These are well-regarded families and individuals in the Delta....."visionairies."

The DDT piece on the I-69 disunity leading the interstate to omitting Washington County is more spot-on than readers will imagine. Greenville will continue drying up until that Interstate's built in 15-18 years IF base changes aren't made to leadership's thinking. Then, new infrastructure will only be a piece of the Economic Recovery Pie.

The I-69 article was compelling but didn't hit the heart of this highway building issue as it's opposition is local in nature not at the bureaucratic levels. Another article was the Greenville Public Schools' ten-point plan of action. The wording was vague and its terms are not measurable to any standards. But, it's a step forward from what previous school administrators have done.

The people reflect the schools' abilities and vice versa. If you look at workforce issues, consider the training sources your tax dollars mandatorially (is that a word?) support and their effectiveness.

But, we run in circles on these issues and you keep paying an ever-growing tab.

Sorry to hear about the balloon festival and air show. It's better to have no event than one that doesn't meet the standards of the organizers. Pretty much every major city event is on ice, isn't it? Besides the sanctimonious Blues Festival - that requires public financing but would fold had it been any other event - is anything standing on its own legs these days besides the Catfish Races?