>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/28/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow SPREAD THE WORD: WE'VE GOT JOBS


Union County is in an unusual — but enviable — situation. While Oregon's unemployment rate is the highest in the country at 7 percent, Union County's rate is 4.1 percent and area employers are in need of more workers. Problem is, there aren't enough good ones to go around.

THE COUNTY is enjoying the second-lowest unemployment rate in a state that has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Even Wallowa County, which often has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the state, is at 5.4 percent. The national rate is 5.7 percent.

The low unemployment rates are good news for the counties as a whole, but the numbers don't bode well for employers who need to add people. Our recreational vehicle manufacturers are struggling to find an adequate supply of workers. Fleetwood Travel Trailers of Oregon, Northwood Manufacturing (a.k.a. Nash), and Eagle Cap Intermountain RV all could use more people who are willing to work. Nash and Fleetwood are among the area's largest employers already — Nash with 275 and Fleetwood with 211. Both could use about 50 more workers.

FLEETWOOD HAS FOUND that some of the people it has tried to put to work since launching an expansion late last year simply haven't wanted to work — at least not for very long. Some of the new hires have shown up for a couple of weeks, some for a month or two, and then just quit. Ron Nash, owner of Northwood, says there just aren't enough workers to go around.

The county is in the process of trying to get the word out that there are jobs available here. As other areas struggle and more people are laid off, getting the word out becomes extremely important – both for the people who are in need of jobs and are willing to work, as well as for employers who have jobs to fill.

Union County's predicament is unusual considering the mess Oregon's economy is in as a whole. With some effort to spread the word about available jobs, the problem should be short-lived.

Whoa there, Rep. Smith

Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, a candidate to replace Speaker Mark Simmons as our area's next legislator, has found himself in a bit of a dispute with Salem's police. Smith was clocked going 41 mph in a 20 mph school zone last week. The police say Smith tried to claim immunity from speeding tickets because he was running late on his way to do the state's business. Smith denies that he claimed diplomatic


If Smith claimed immunity, he was way out of bounds. He's not above the law. But even if he didn't make the claim, the fact that he was allegedly going more than twice the speed limit in a school zone, is cause for concern — even if the Legislature had actually been doing something. Smith has some

explaining to do.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use