Four meetings planned to discuss Lenawee's job needs 09.10.09

Written by David Green.

Lenawee County remains high in unemployment numbers (18.2 percent in July) and led the state in workforce reductions with a decline of 900 individuals.

If new jobs aren’t created, the exodus of residents from the county will continue, said Lenawee Economic Development Corporation president Jim Gartin, and that will continue to weaken the local economy. Most alarming is the loss of skilled tradespeople and youths—the foundation and the future.

“Without a strong workforce, we will lose whatever opportunities we might have in the future to attract and grow existing companies,” Gartin said. “We need a qualified workforce to support growth.”

Gartin has scheduled four town hall meetings in the next few weeks to help identify and attract jobs.

Job loss creates consequences for an array of county and local agencies, services and businesses.

• Social services are called upon, at an alarming rate, to fill the gap for unemployed families and individuals. How can organizations like United Way continue to provide the needed support to our community, when the base of employee deductions has been eroded?

• Housing, food, medical services and the basic essentials are all in demand and in short supply. Hospital emergency areas are being used as primary care facilities by patients with no health care and no way to pay.

• Retail and service sector areas are down and trying to hold on, due to declining discretionary funds.

• Housing is struggling, values are down, sales are reduced and delinquencies and foreclosures are still at all-time records.

• Municipalities are struggling to provide services due to reduced state revenue sharing and declining property values.

• Public schools are seeing reduced state pupil head count revenue, declining property values and competition from private and home schooling activities.

The list of job-related consequences goes on, Gartin said, and the town hall meetings will attempt to reverse the trend of job losses.

• Adrian Area: 7 p.m. today, Thursday, Sept. 10, at LEDC’s offices, 5285 W. US-223, Adrian;

• Tecumseh Area: 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at City Hall, 309 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh;

• Blissfield Area: 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Riverbend Timber Framing, 9012 E. US-223, Blissfield;

• Hudson Area: 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Community Center, 323 W. Main St., Hudson.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required and can be made by calling the LEDC at 517/265-5141. More information is available at the LEDC website: www.onelenawee.org.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016