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Help Is Wanted Tuesday

You’ve seen them, I’m sure. They are just about everywhere you shop or eat lately. “They” are the help-wanted signs.

Retailers and businesses of all sorts are posting signs on their doors and advertisements in the newspaper want-ads for workers. This has been occurring long before the call for “seasonal” workers went out. Many of the positions are entry-level jobs that require only a high school-level education.

Some jobs offer benefits. Others do not. Some may be full-time positions; however, many more are of the part-time level that offer fewer incentives or benefits.

Business owners are scratching their heads at the lack of interest in the jobs they are posting. After all, we are far from being out of the throes of a recession. One popular local business in Wheeling now closes for two days a week because of a lack of qualified people to fill positions seven days a week.

So what’s going on? Let’s see: No one can live on a part-time wage that provides no benefits. And working two and three jobs to make ends meet leaves little time for parenting and maintaining a happy marriage.

Most people I know want to work. They have gone to school or put in the time gaining experience at start-up jobs. They are at the “now or never” stage of their working lives. However, when they attempt to climb the ladder of success, well, there just isn’t a ladder there anymore. Stagnation has taken hold.

There are other reasons people aren’t lining up to work at the local gas station or quickie mart or bank teller’s window. In a span of two days last week in West Virginia, a Circle K store in Morgantown and a Marathon gas station in Logan were robbed at knife and gunpoint. No one was hurt in those instances, but the fear is real.

And don’t forget the bank robberies that have tellers looking sideways at everyone who walks or drives up to their bank windows. Not too long ago the local area experienced multiple bank robberies in a short span of time. That sort of thing leaves an impression on those working at the end of a gun barrel.

We are approaching Election Day on Nov. 4, a day when we can do something about the unemployment rate. Our little punches on the ballot can either help or add to the unemployment stats.

We can oust incumbents who have done nothing to improve the economy or we can retain those who have made a dent in the cause. Nothing will change in this country, our states or communities until we hold our elected officials accountable after Election Day.

Shame on those politicians who have made a career out of staying in office, only to hear little or nothing from them after the election night confetti has been swept up. Think about that when you stand in the voting booth. Make your voice be heard. Help is wanted – to change our lives for the better.

Heather Ziegler can be reached at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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