We must be ready to work when work calls

Published 8:14pm Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday, one of the newest industrial success stories in Dallas County welcomed the community to its grand opening, showcasing the amazing green technology it uses in cultivating algae from catfish ponds and using it in the creation of plastics.
As we’ve said before when writing about Algix, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. In this case, this process is a win-win, a victory for both the catfish farmers who need the algae removed from ponds and a victory for Algix, which needs the algae for its production.
In addition to this event, economic leaders took the newest Leadership Selma-Dallas County class, Class XX, on a driving tour of each of the county’s industrial parks, giving a windshield view of the surprising industrial complex that has been built up in Dallas County.
With top tier automotive suppliers, lawn and equipment manufacturers and even a staging area — one of two in the country — for FEMA disaster trailers, Selma and Dallas County industrial recruiters have done a solid job of building a diverse industrial segment for our community.
But even with our successes, there is still plenty of work left. Unemployment remains far too high and the average income for most in the area remains far below the national average.
But, maybe the work that remains is not that of our industrial or governmental leaders, maybe it is up to us.
When local businesses and industries begin to hire for new shifts — or replace individuals — it is up to make sure that we have the education, experience and record to be available to be hired.
When local businesses and industries begin to hire for new positions — or fill open positions — it is up to make sure we can pass the screenings, be readily available and have the work ethic required.
Economic leaders track how many people from outside Dallas County drive into the county each and every morning for work in Dallas County. When positions come open, there is no doubt that these positions could go to those who live in Dallas County, but if we are not qualified, not eligible, then the jobs must go to those who are.
We applaud the work of our elected and economic leaders for doing what they have done so far and challenge them to continue their efforts. But, as they work to bring new jobs here, it is up to us to make sure we’re ready to work.

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