Monday, March 09, 2009

700 appicants for a custodial position

Made the news in Ohio, but it's not unusual.

Much of the time, here in Bellingham, WA. it seems like custodial positions at the university or school district can draw a hundred applicants at least. Especially as they pay a bit more than most custodial positions in the private sector.

Benefits and health insurance also.

State jobs.

Custodial work is not bad work. Can be fairly hassle free and low stress. Of course depends on situation.

All through the 1980s and beyond, I remember years when custodial positions at Western Washington University would draw huge piles of applications.

The school district and city would be similar.

Much of our local economy is what they call a "service economy."

Retailing, restaurants, lawn mowing.

Lots of waiters, waitresses and store clerks. Many of the jobs have been part time and not paying much more than minimum wage.

Of course, if one has low overhead, life doesn't have to be so bad.

Good health, free time, flexibility and then people say they leave Bellingham when it's time to look for a "real job."

The places I have worked have only had a few full time jobs and large staffs of part time workers.

Much of the local work force is students who work their job schedule around class schedules. Classes come first. After one graduates, life comes first and the job comes second. There are not that many jobs which are super inspiring.

State jobs tend to be more likely to have benefits and full time hours.

Welcome to the new economy.

Bellingham has been there for a long time.

It pays to have "low overhead," but many of the houses in this area are quite large and expensive.

There's a disconnect.

Seems like many of the homeowners are retirees who got into owning in other areas and times.

Local workers are often renters.

Then there are the much sought after state jobs.

Our economy kind of revolves around education and retirement.

Some say it's the result of not being friendly to industry. Yes, much of the industrial base has deteriorated and gone overseas.

Volunteer sector is the most dynamic and exciting part of our city's economy. In spite of recession, one still finds vibrancy at various gathering spots. Political meetings, discussion groups, folk music, dancing, festivals.

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