Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Report from the County IDA Meeting

Gossips was at the Columbia County IDA meeting this morning. The IDA is often a good place to learn news of projects proposed or in the works that will affect Hudson, and two items discussed at this morning's meeting made showing up at 8:30 worthwhile. Both were in the report to the IDA by Ken Flood, commissioner for Planning and Economic Development.

The first was on the topic of the transloading facility, likely to bring more trains through our fair city. Flood said he had little to report. In December 2011, it was announced that this project was awarded a $2.2 million grant. Now, according to Flood, the owners of LS Industrial and the Department of Transportation are trying to resolve "financing issues." Flood reported that things are "at a standstill, waiting for the owners to make a final decision, because it would be a substantial investment on their part"--over and above the $2.2 million in public money.

Flood also talked about the experience he was having going around talking with businesses in all the towns in Columbia County. He reported that "people continue to have issues finding productive employees." He said it was a common theme throughout the county. Meanwhile, a common theme among some politicians in Hudson is the need for jobs. The Hudson Democrats made "Economic Development and Jobs" the second item in their 2013 platform. There are people who need workers, there are people who need jobs. Where is the disconnnect?

Some clues may be in the language of the Democrats' platform:
The Democratic Party believes in the obligation of governments at all levels to help provide citizens with opportunities to earn a decent living in a fulfilling job. That includes advocating for increased access to public transportation, and efforts to build and enhance a qualified workforce through training opportunities that emphasize career and technical education.
Are the jobs available not jobs that pay a decent wage? Are they perceived to be unfulfilling? Do the people who want jobs lack the transportation necessary to get to the jobs? Do they lack the appropriate education and training? What are the real issues that separate the employers and would-be employed?

1 comment:

  1. The disconnect has nothing to do with transportation. It is all about attitude. The locals SAY they want jobs. But what they really want is an income. It has been related to me by numerous business owners that when they hire someone, oftentimes the person doesn't even bother to show up for the job on the first day. Or if they do, in less than a fortnight, they are coming in late, calling in sick, and shirking the duties required of the position. One business owner was horrified to find that the new employee was selling drugs on their premises. Others have complained of theft from the cash register, or inventory. It is a very serious problem. That is why turnover is so high, and many businesses give up on hiring help. This is what Mr. Flood meant by "finding PRODUCTIVE employees."