Letters to the Editor

Kilmer understands training is critical

I am writing to respond to your Dec. 30 criticism (“Business will create jobs — if government lets it”) of Sen. Derek Kilmer’s Dec. 25 op-ed on the need to enhance worker retraining programs and provide workforce development opportunities in our community.

For many people who are unemployed, their previous jobs are gone, lost to the recession or technology.

Nothing, especially tax cuts or deregulation. are going to bring them back.

People need to be trained for jobs that will be in demand tomorrow, such as healthcare and clean energy.

Over the next 10 years, Harrison Hospital alone estimates it will be hiring hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new healthcare workers.

If we don’t train our own people for those positions, they will be filled by people from other communities, other states, or other countries.

Over the same decade, the world will see major advances in clean energy technologies.

Those advances could mean good paying jobs right here in Kitsap County.

The most important factor in attracting clean industry to our community is to have a well-trained work force, and if we don’t, those jobs will be in places like China and India where governments are investing in education and energy research.

Remember, unlike the federal government, the state must balance its budget, so any funds going to job creation must come from cuts somewhere else.

Sen. Kilmer understands job creation and he is right to focus on worker retraining.

Placing a priority on worker retraining gets us out of the recession faster, helps the unemployed who are willing to help themselves, and provides a workforce for long-term, sustainable growth.

PETE CRANE

Olympic College

Board of Trustees

Editor’s note: The Dec. 30 editorial made no reference to worker retraining programs.

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