Thursday, November 3, 2011

Investing in our communities with tax-dollar funded jobs

Detractors of state government sure love talking about how our government can't create jobs, only inhibit job growth. But, as the Seattle Times reports today, maybe they should check with the residents of Aberdeen, who are more than happy to welcome state-funded jobs constructing the components of a 520 bridge replacement, which have replaced the dwindling timber industry jobs in the area. Smart investments of tax dollars are bolstering new industries in high-demand fields, and bolstering communities hard hit by the recession.   

"In a county that has limped along with a 13 percent unemployment rate, one of the highest in the state, the $367 million contract to build the pontoons — some as long as a football field and weighing 11,000 tons each — is pumping new life into a once-thriving timber town that fell on hard times and stayed that way for years.

The pontoon project will produce 300 union-wage jobs over several years. While it's not the only burst of recent good news for Aberdeen, it's clearly the most visible...
The project has meant nothing but good news to Aberdeen.
"The restaurants are ecstatic to have them here," Mayor Bill Simpson said. "People always knock down Grays Harbor County, but I see it as a booming area, doing better and better all the time."
Merchants agree.
"It's bringing a lot of smiling faces," said Dave TerBush, who works for Home Depot. "It's all positive for the harbor. We've been discovered."
Added Deanna Russell, owner of Teri's Steakhouse, which opened about a year ago downtown: "It has done nothing but boost the economy, a real plus to the community."
Our own representative, Dean Takko from Longview, is also quoted with regards to the booming business at the nearby port, which is exporting Chryslers and biodiesel made in America. "If you would have told me five years ago we'd be exporting cars to China out of Grays Harbor, I would have said you're crazy. It's huge. The biodiesel plant is running at 100 percent capacity."