Archived Story

Complacency contributes to job loss

Published 10:44am Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dear Editor,

The announcement by Russell (Fruit of the Loom) of the large layoff of employees probably was not a shock to anyone. In fact, we have all become totally complacent to announcements regarding Russell’s downsizing.

I have been concerned since I heard of the first Russell layoff, now years ago, that we jump through all kinds of tax incentive hoops for foreign companies and new industry but we do nothing to keep the jobs already here.

I want to know who at the State, County or City level has met with Russell (or whatever name company) and attempted to save those jobs.  Isn’t there something that can be done to add incentives to encourage them to stay in Tallapoosa County?

I have attempted to contact Jim Byard, Director of Alabama Economic Development, but to no avail.  It appears that we are just too small to show up on their job retention radar.

I would like for everyone reading this article to call the Economic Development office at 334-242-5591 and kindly, yes kindly, ask what is being done to keep these jobs in Tallapoosa County.

We cannot become so complacent to these job loses that we simply roll over and play dead.  If nothing else, we should be told what was attempted to save the jobs and list for us the reasons that the effort was not successful.

I have heard, for instance, that the problem is the upcoming “Obamacare” health costs.  If so, we need to know that and get some attention to fixing that problem. Maybe the existing employee wages need to be scaled back – if so, we need to know that.  Whatever the reasons, we will never know unless we actively pursue the issue and get some answers.

This problem is not a city or county or state problem but a team problem. The mayor’s office or the county Commissioners cannot tackle this alone. It will take all of these governmental agencies working TOGETHER to address the loss of existing businesses.

If we remain complacent, all of the new business incentives we are giving out will be for nothing since we will be losing jobs faster than we can add them.

John Prophitt