Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Caledonia's Unemployment "Problem" and the KRM solution?

Thanks to Caledonia Unplugged Raising the point that Caledonia has the LOWEST unemployment in the State at 3.7%!! This is great news!! In fact Cal-Up further links to lists including Franklin 6.7%, Oak Creek 7.1%, and Mt. Pleasant 11% all with lower unemployment than City of Racine. Looks to me that jobs for our "unemployed" are within just about a 12 mile radius around our City, maybe if we cut off benefits after 3 or 6 months, we would see people start taking jobs.

I have often suggested that Racine's 14.8% unemployed should go to where the jobs are, but been told that people don't want to move away from family etc. Well a few miles radius is not that challenging. Cal-up further makes the point that the KRM is not running thru Caledonia; I will add; nor is it running thru Franklin, and if ever built would only run thru a sliver of Mt. Pleasant and Caledonia, and Oak Creek. So on balance it seems if we are going to help Racine's unemployed we need to make sure they are able to work in Franklin, OC and Cal. Or encourage them to move closer to those areas. It would further help to not keep continuing unemployment benefits for nearly 2 years.

BTW the Hwy 38 and 27th St. corridor in O.C and Franklin are growing like crazy! if you know someone looking for a job send them there!! We can't wait for Mayor Dickert or the Local Unions to bring jobs back to our City. Until they are willing to cut spending, and lower taxes and restrictions. Until the the growth will be north of us. It's too bad the "customers" living along those corridors would be ideally suited to improve our city, our schools and our future.

1 comment:

  1. Downtown - to add a twist to your comments - the interesting thing about the Caledonia statistic is that we DON'T have many jobs in Caledonia - we have an insanely low percentage of commercial and business development in our community as compared to Racine - yet we have the lowest unemployment. Hopefully, with the recently installed village board, we'll see a reduction in some of our ridiculous development regulations and an increase in job opportunities in the future.

    However, we do have a community where the vast majority do have three basic qualifications needed in today's job market: at the very minimum, a high school degree, and in most instances, college or technical degrees; initiative and a work ethic (do some in Racine even understand that term, you know actually wanting to work, showing up for the job and on time?); and personal transportation to take them to jobs that don't exist in Caledonia.

    Ironically, many of the Caledonians I know are employed in or near the city of Racine. The job opportunities exist there, however, when you have more qualified and more educated candidates coming from nearby suburbs to snatch up the jobs, the locals lose out if they can't compete.

    You're correct - job opportunities are opening up all over just north and west of Caledonia, but again, many of these jobs require post high school education/training and probably won't have a substantial impact to reduce Racine's unemployment.

    Here's my take on long term reduction of Racine's unemployment - one of two things has to happen: either Racine finds a way to vastly improve their educational system to produce a workforce with the qualifications for 21st century jobs and equip its young people with the skills to compete; or Racine tries to return to its "blue collar" manufacturing roots to accommodate that segment of its existing workforce by reducing taxes, regulations and providing incentives for new companies as you've mentioned. The glitch with scenario #2, however, is when one company in town holds a large portion of the pollution credits and the EPA will not yield any ground on Racine's non-attainment status, manufacturing companies will have no choice but to look elsewhere to build and Racine's blue collar days may permanently be a thing of the past.

    In the meantime, though, I agree, Racine folks need to head north and west if they're not having any luck in Racine.

    OK, end of rant ;^)

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