To the editor:
I have seen a few stories recently concerning a lack of good, drug-free employees.
I think this paints local workers in an unfair, highly-biased light. My problem, from the standpoint of one of those motivated drug-free workers, is a lack of living-wage jobs. This issue is not brain surgery.
Crappy jobs will attract crappy employees. People moved into this valley half a century ago to work in the mills. Now most of my classmates moved away to support their families with living-wage jobs, jobs that are not offered here, jobs that are scant here. If they were here they would not have had to move.
If your local business would care to stop being so greedy and start paying decent wages with affordable benefits then the people you want may return. Until that happens, you should quit complaining about a lack of employable people and sleep in the bed you made. Quit offering crappy wages and maybe, just maybe, you will attract an employable applicant pool.
Basically, if I cannot afford to save for my retirement after I pay my bills, pay my benefit premiums, buy my groceries and fuel up my car, then it is not a living wage. If the owner(s) or upper management will not work for it, then it is not a living wage. If I still qualify for government assistance after 40 hours, then it is not a living wage. If I have to borrow money from family to be able to fix my broken down car or pay my co-pays, then it is not a living wage. If I have no hope of ever being able to get a mortgage, then it is not a living wage. If you need a second job in order to pay for a child, then it is not a living wage.
The people running businesses locally need to wake up and realize that most are offering crap and expecting gold in return. Put something substantial on the table and watch good quality people fight to be your employees. I'm quite sure the editors, in their quest to fill copy, would love to run stories of businesses that are hiring and what they are offering. Otherwise, you business leaders, you titans of industry, can take another bite of your delicious crap sandwich, and of course, keep complaining.