Our View: Hang in there, long-term job seekers
Economic recovery? Maybe. But we still want to throw in a shout-out to the long-term unemployed in our area.
We've read some conflicting comments.
We read about a survey that indicated people are finding some jobs now, but many are saying they're still unemployed and having a harder time finding living-wage jobs.
Additionally, some are saying that things are sort of getting better, but not getting better by leaps and bounds and with a new definition of "better." There might be more jobs than there were a few years ago, but they're likely lower paying and bring less in benefits.
And the fact is, our local unemployment rate is still high: 14.4 percent in Colusa County; and 13.1 percent in neighboring Glenn County.
That data comes from the California Employment Development Department.
At the same time, we've heard that some area employment officials are pretty enthusiastic about job prospects, saying that there are jobs out there to be had.
Our assertion is that there are more jobs out there, but from what we're hearing there's still not a job for everyone. You've got to be just what the employer is looking for; a good work ethic and enthusiasm and desire aren't necessarily enough.
We just want to encourage agencies to do all they can to help all classes of unemployed workers; and encourage those seeking work to not be embarrassed about taking advantage of any resources. You do what you must to get a job.
And, please, if you're a potential employer, analyze the stigma that comes with long-term unemployment. If possible, give them a chance.
A whole new industry for our region?
Another shout out goes to Jody Gallaway, who may have created a new industry: crawfish.
She started up the California Crawfish Co. not so long ago. In its second full season of operation, the company now has eight full-time employees, contracts with 13 crawfish trappers, and processes 1,200 to 1,500 pounds a day … all of that from Colusa or Sutter counties.
There's no reason the new business couldn't become a new industry for the entire region - if there are rice fields and wetlands, there are crawdads.
And the thing is, there are all kinds of crawfish business to be had and it could mean even more jobs and revenue coming in.
Gallaway was a wildlife conservation biologist with a consulting business and was studying the feeding ecology of waterfowl in rice fields. She said, in a story in last week's Colusa County Sun-Herald, she realized, "we have the same species of crawfish as they do in the South. We have crawfish; we have rice fields; we have a market - why don't we have an industry?"
Gallaway says there is real potential for the industry, partly because of the supply of rice fields, partly because the season here (July through October) complements the Southern season (December through June).
This opinion was authored by editorial management of Tri-County Newspapers. Send replies and letters to: email@example.com.