To the editor:
I question the headline story of the Oct. 27 edition of The Messenger. In particular, the quote from Kelly Halsted, "If you can't find a job in Webster County, you're not looking."
Judging from the people I've spoken with and observed at the local Iowa Works office, jobs are not as easy to find in the area as the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is leading the public to believe.
In May, the company I worked for eliminated my position due to reorganization. Prior to that I had already been looking for a different job for a year, as I anticipated changes at my place of employment. In essence, I have been looking for a job for more than 18 months.
This summer alone, I have submitted more than 75 resumes and applications, as well as participated in several interviews (including meetings with the big, new companies). I am finding that good-paying jobs are difficult to obtain in this area. Personally, I have received a couple of offers of employment in Webster County, but the highest salary offered was $20,000 annually. Not a living wage in these economic times.
For the record, I hold a bachelor's degree and have had steady employment until the reorganization that eliminated my most recent position. Additionally, my work record and references are stellar. This is the case for many Webster County residents.
During interviews, a candidate is often told how many applications have been received for a position. Most of the time that number is over 100.
Mayor Bemrich mentioned in the article it's hard to find skilled labor in the area that isn't already employed. I beg to differ, Mayor Bemrich. There are many local residents who have a multitude of skills and apply for anything and everything they feel qualified to do, but these people are often overlooked.
While it's wonderful to bring new people into the community, please don't forget to give those of us who are already here a chance.