Do You Want A Job Or Not?

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Although the majority of my blog posts are not focused on local Farmington, MO news or stories I could not help but to do a post about a local story that is frustrating beyond belief.

For a few of my thoughts on this topic that were discussed on my LocalTek Tech Tips radio show this morning you can read Local Tek Owner Supports Big River Telephone.

Big River Broadband in Farmington, MO

Recently the government awarded Big River Telephone a chunk of the rural broadband stimulus funds based on the ability of the company to rapidly deploy a stable and reliable wireless broadband network that will provide thousands of people throughout Southeast Missouri with the ability to connect to the internet in the same way most of us take for granted, at broadband speeds.

In todays world it is virtually a requirement to have access to high speed internet if a community wants to be able to compete in the business world today, or if a student wants to have access to the same information other students across the US and the world have.

Although I tend to lean to the conservative side when it comes to taxation and stimulus I can see the benefits and the value in programs such as this when done correctly. I accept that the money is going to be spent and it needs to be used on quality programs that create quality, lasting jobs, that provide other benefits for the long term, such as education and economic development. In this case the rural broadband stimulus does that.

Now, for the frustrating part. As part of the award of the funds to Big River Telephone it had been discussed they would locate Big River Broadband, the arm of the company deploying the network, in Farmington, MO which is a rural, but very progressive business community in Southeast Missouri.

In an area such as this it is difficult in many cases for individuals coming out of college to be able to stay local because there are not many professional level technology jobs in the community. This means that there is a drain on the community based on the educated and skilled labor leaving for large cities for higher paying, professional or technical jobs that do not exist locally.

I cannot go a month (or a week) without hearing people talk about the lack of the ability to find a good job or hearing people complain about jobs going overseas or to Mexico for manufacturing. With the economy being what it is small communities need to do everything they can to find high paying, quality jobs that are long lasting in their community.

With most jobs that locate to these regions being low paying jobs that can be moved overseas easily (i.e. call centers, manufacturing) shouldn’t a community fight to get these jobs to their area at every chance they have?

Virtually every community in the area Big River Telephone will be serving has fought for these jobs to be located in their community.

The City of Farmington, once learning of the potential of Big River Broadband to locate in the area, offered incentives for the company to be able to relocate to an unused building in the downtown area.

The TIF amount are rumored to be in the $100,000 range.  That is a $100,000 incentive to create millions of dollars of economic development in direct money to be spent by new jobs in the company. That does not include the associated businesses and non-direct impact of long term value to a community having a solid tech company that is growing in the area.

Typically you bring one and more come, also what people sometimes overlook is that this will empower people that once never thought they would have an opportunity to create something to possibly have an idea sparked after being around the atmosphere that a company like this brings.

Big River BroadbandSo, why then, would people complain?  Is it just to complain for the sake of being heard? In the community there have been a few folks that have caused a hold up and concern for the many people looking for these jobs because they are complaining about the incentive.

Keep in mind these people complaining are people who are in positions to not have to worry about such things but their lack of foresight and their lack of ability to  look at the bigger opportunity this creates has the potential to drive these jobs elsewhere. And they WILL GO ELSEWHERE, they will not disappear. Would this group prefer these jobs go to another community that WILL give something to get this.

Big River Telephone is not some huge corporate conglomerate so people cannot complain about big business getting all the breaks, I have known the team at Big River since they acquired a small phone company in Cape Girardeau and have worked day and night to create what the company has become today.

If the money is going to be spent to provide stimulus I have to look past my feelings on such things and realize the money is going somewhere, the stimulus money will be spent, I want it to better the community I am in and not go elsewhere because people are not thinking about the long term impact but just trying to make a stand for the sake of being heard.

The moral of the story here, no matter if you are in my local area or not, if someone is working hard to keep jobs local, keep your kids from moving away since they do not have the opportunity locally, and are trying to have a long term positive economic impact on your area support them. Do not EVER complain about jobs going overseas if you are not going to support keeping jobs in your community.

I never had the opportunity to stay in the community I live in based on the fact there was not a professional level job that offered the opportunity to do what I wanted to do or an income potential that went with it. I had to travel over 100 thousand miles a year on planes to have that opportunity. I have a son that will be in college in the short term future, he may want to move away but I also like the thought of supporting companies that want to create jobs that can create opportunity for him locally as well.

Thanks for letting me rant!

8 Comments

  1. “Do not EVER complain about jobs going overseas if you are not going to support keeping jobs in your community.”

    Excellent point.

    “So, why then, would people complain? Is it just to complain for the sake of being heard?”

    Some uninformed people will always complain about stimulus money because they are too busy listening to catch phrase naysayers instead of doing their own research.

  2. Tia,

    Thanks. It is funny because I am the first one to hate seeing government do for companies what companies should be doing for themselves because typically it is not for the greater good.

    There are cases though that there is an obvious positive impact that creates real development with real jobs that help real people and even if someone does not support the general concept of stimulus from a political standpoint they need to realize if the money is going to be spent they should make sure it is put to good use and they should pick one of a million other government incentives given to companies to complain about.

    Hope all is well Tia!!!

    Bruce

  3. Bruce – Human nature defies logic. Some of the chronic complaining comes from people who have no real incentive. Your point is so accurate about companies needing to do for themselves (vs. Gov’t bailouts), and this applies to individuals and families as well.

    Not to get too political, but unions have crippled American industry. American companies are continually suffocating under the weight of government control and the exceedingly high demands of high pressure unions.

    In Farmington and in other rural communities across the USA, people need to wake up and welcome opportunity when it comes knocking.

  4. M,

    You are very correct on your added points as well.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Bruce

  5. Paul J. Kapschock /

    Not too political :)

    “Not to get too political, but unions have crippled American industry. American companies are continually suffocating under the weight of government control and the exceedingly high demands of high pressure unions.”

    I never realized that unions were so large in this small town or area…I highly doubt there is even one or two union companies? and I highly doubt unions are stopping this development…haha?

    But, more on point…seems conservative “political folks” are afraid of the stimulus money…..money to help families with jobs and incentives…and would rather drown than ask for “that help”.

    Too proud and stupid to see full picture.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Paul

  6. M. Menius /

    @Paul. – The union observation is a nationwide obstacle. You can’t trivialize it whatever your political leaning. As for too proud and stupid, the government tit you fear losing comes out of everyone elses pocket. There’s really no magical money tree.

    Jobs from “stimulus money”? It’s called govt handout. Some people desire a welfare state, while others get ahead by virtue of hard work, discipline, savings. Job creation obviously arises from private industry. And in case you didn’t know, small business want govt out of the way, not robbing their piggy bank. Obama has a multitude of options for spurring the economy, but opts instead for a pure socialist answer.

    Happy T-day. Free turkeys and opportunity for all … Available at your local post office. Courtesy of Obama.

  7. Columbia MO used incentives to entice IBM to locate here with a tech center, projected to create 800 high tech jobs over the next couple years…

    http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2010/05/17/daily9.html

    me likey :)

  8. @Menius: As a counterpoint, Medicare Part D was one of the largest government handouts in the history of this country. And that was under one of the most business friendly administrations which dismantled regulation of all sorts (we now know the effects of such actions).

    The broadband and solar bills are examples of good legislation, it’s what gov’t should be doing.

    Point being, no matter how you wish to spin your talking points, none of this is a partisan issue.

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