I note with some befuddlement the ongoing kerfuffle about hundreds of federal jobs coming to the Kansas City area.
First the good news: The federal government is moving 500 ag-related jobs from Washington, D.C., to somewhere yet to be announced in the Kansas City area. That is a win. Let’s hope Eastern Jackson County is in the running. Government jobs – especially federal jobs – come with good paychecks, the strong prospect of long-term employment and a level of benefits that has all but evaporated in the private sector. As such, those jobs remain a solid path to the middle class.
The rub is that many of the people currently in these jobs that are coming to Kansas City don’t want to come here.
OK, let’s back up. Washington has many, many amenities and attractions and is close to many more. Also, it’s not simple for two-career couples to just pack up and go. Same if you have kids in school. There could be any number of reasons to want to stay.
Now, about Kansas City. I was born here, I’ve lived here about two-thirds of my life, and I love it here. I think it has many charms. That said, I just don’t think we’re moving quickly enough on quality-of-life issues that are crucial to attracting talent in today’s economy. The same goes for education and workforce development.
We’re making gains, but the rest of the world is making gains much faster. There’s a lot more to being a desirable place to live than cheap housing.
But about those jobs: I guess what doesn’t sit well with me is the attitude that worker X is entitled to a certain job in a certain place forever. Again, in the private sector, jobs are restructured, liquidated or moved halfway across the country all the time, and workers are told to embrace it or move on. As a taxpayer, I truly don’t mind paying public employees for good work, but a little private-sector reality check might be in order.
Schlotzsky's at 800 S.W. East U.S. 40 in Blue Springs has set an Aug. 8 ribbon cutting. No word from the company about when it actually opens its doors. … Forbes magazine, which tallies up the best employers in the country, has placed the Independence School District on its list of Best-in-State Employers 2019. Only two school districts – Independence and the Special School District of St. Louis County – and four colleges and universities made the list of 78 top employers for Missouri. Others include Hallmark, Cerner, KCP&L and Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.