“Jobs r us”

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If everyone in Cornwall who really tries to get a job in Cornwall in 2010 and doesn’t, hasn’t tried very hard.

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m an unabashed Cornwall flag-waver. I love the town and its people (well, most of them anyway) and despite the sky-is-falling attitude many had when Domtar closed its doors, this town has bounced back and 2010 appears to be a banner year.

I’m not even so sure the town “bounced back” because it was moving forward all along and I suggest to you that the good things that are happening or are about to happen out there, would have taken place anyway.

Couple of weeks back in the “Scuttlebutt” section of the paper (the whole world reads that) there were a couple of lines that went, “Up to 500 new jobs in Cornwall next year (2010) plus our regional new jobs should make for a great economy.”

Well the line wasn’t attributed to anyone so I thought I’d go looking for those 500 new jobs to prove it for myself. It didn’t take much research and my findings deduce that “500 new jobs” may be low!

Recently, Marc Boileau of Cornwall Economic Development made a presentation to Team Cornwall. It was the annual State of the City report. Now I know Marc is paid to have a perpetual smile on his face and a positive line for every negativism. I know Team Cornwall is like preaching to the converted. Team Cornwall members are Cornwall “rah-rah” members, selling the city to outsiders every chance they get but that doesn’t make any of them bad people. As a matter of fact, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for our town.

Anyway the presentation made by Marc is available at choosecornwall.ca. Just click on 2009 Year in Review. Summary: any city in Canada should be so lucky to do as well as Cornwall has done right smack dab in the middle of a global recession.

According to the report, our unemployment numbers right now are about 7% which is lower than the provincial and national average. For those people that are out there, that are looking for jobs, we may end up having too many jobs available. What a great problem that is! It means, to me, that after the local people are taken care of (those that wish to be taken care of) we’ll have to go looking for workers outside the community to move in and become part of the tax base in the city. Nothing wrong with that.

Among the jobs to be offered this year are 177 with the Service Canada Call Centre jobs where they’re recruiting for staff now; the Shoppers Drug Mart distribution centre where another 170 jobs are opening up. That doesn’t count the tons of jobs already created in building these new facilities. These facilities will have to be serviced with supplies; with cleaning staff and the list goes on and on.

This is where the naysayers kick in and say all the jobs are low-paying call centre-type jobs.

Let me say this.

Domtar is gone. Again. Domtar is gone. It’s not coming back. Those over-inflated paying jobs are gone and more are dropping by the wayside everyday in communities across the country.

When those jobs left, Cornwall, as a city, had to re-group and start again. It did and now it’s starting to reap the benefits. If we become the call-centre capital of the world then so be it. It’s work—it’s hard work and can be stressful—but any job is. I’m sorry it doesn’t pay what Domtar paid, but look around. Domtar right now is paying nothing. Call centres are feeding families. I’ve even heard some call centres are offering so-called “signing bonuses” if you’ll team up with them.

Even so, if manufacturing is in your heart, then it’s heartening to see places like Seaway Yarns chugging along and improving their facilities. Manufacturing is not what it was in Cornwall but it’s still here and still prospering.

As I mentioned earlier, all kinds of construction including residential is up in our community. That’s being reflected in bigger and better service facilities and restaurants and so on being built.These places need bodies to make their services work. More jobs.

And again, don’t forget the support services these places need and they’ll need workers as well.

The eternal optimist?

Yeah, I guess but I offer no apologies from this corner. I’ve only touched on the tip of the good times ahead for Cornwall. Check it out for yourself at choosecornwall.ca and you be your own judge.

Cornwall—shining in the recession and ready to kick a little butt in 2010.

I’m John Divinski.

Organizations: Domtar, Service Canada Call Centre, Shoppers Drug Mart

Geographic location: Cornwall, Canada

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