Sunday, October 5, 2008

Local jobs available, but for whom?

Headline: Firms are hiring, but for some reason, nobody wants a job. 

In this case, it was the headline that was the red flag indicating that this article may be slanted toward the benefit of local manufacturing firms. I'd like to point out, that in no way am I the best headline writer, in fact, it is one of the journalistic duties I could improve on, however I must admit, this one made me squirm a bit. First off, the headline is way too long, granted the article was published online, I doubt it would fit nicely into a print edition of the Democrat and Chronicle. Secondly, "but for some reason" is sloppy, unnecessary to the content of the article and sends the message that Rochester locals must just be lazy, because why wouldn't they be running after these wonderful jobs? And lastly--and most importantly, "nobody wants a job," which is flat out an inaccurate assumption.

"Firms are hiring, there's plenty of room for advancement and the vast majority of positions require a two-year degree or less. And for some reason, nobody wants a job." 

This segment was written by the reporter, and in essence, all it adds up to is his opinion. What could have made it appropriate and useful to readers would be if the reporter listed examples of a few of the employment advancements that were available for employees and in what companies. Instead these two sentences sound as if they should be coming out of an employer's mouth, not the reporter covering the story. 

"'We would hire 20 people right now if we could find those who were qualified,' said Brian McMahon, vice president of MWI Inc., a graphite machining shop in Henrietta."

Bingo! So from what I could gather from this quotation and the remainder of the article is, yes--there are many jobs available, local jobs, but employers are looking for people who are specifically qualified for those positions. In other words, Rochester locals want jobs, they are looking for jobs, of course they are, but some may be running into walls if they don't have a two-year or four-year degree or do not meet the application requirements. So, instead of blaming Rochester locals for failing to seek these manufacturing positions, why not suggest how they can increase their chances of landing such jobs? Why not ask manufacturing employers those types of questions for the benefit of those people who are looking for jobs in Rochester? 

I should mention that the reporter provides a link to the companies (Optimum Business, which is only one company, so this was a little confusing) he consulted in doing the research for this story, which made the article much stronger, but I still think a little more detail in providing some application preparation should have been included, or at least considered. 

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