But you will hear me criticize sleazy politicians who attempt to gain favor from it and who make more of it than they should. And whose priorities are routinely bass-ackwards.
Take Congressman Rick Boucher for instance:
Call center brings jobsNeato.
By Christopher Brooke, Galax Gazette Staff Reporter
Officials announced Monday that 255 jobs will be created by a 24-hour customer service call center that will work for XM Satellite Radio in Galax.The new positions help stem the loss of 1,100 local jobs in 2006.
Speakers noted at the Monday announcement at the Crossroads Institute, the new home of Results Galax, that efforts to recruit the firm to the Twin Counties started in 2001, when Rep. Rick Boucher began developing a relationship with the satellite radio service.
Boucher first started talking with the satellite radio service in 2001, just as the company was beginning to experience rapid customer growth.
Those conversations continued during the next two years, as Boucher hosted XM officials in his district to highlight the communities and facilities, educational and workforce assets, and Virginia's positive business climate.
“Today's announcements marks another landmark success for my Showcasing Southwest Virginia program and for local officials in the three localities,” the congressman said. “It is further proof of the ability of this region to attract top-tier companies providing 21st Century jobs for the area's residents.
“Rick's program of Showcasing Southwest Virginia has stimulated the region's economy by bringing more than 4,500 jobs to the Ninth Congressional District,” the mayor [of Galax] said. (link)
Lost in this group hug are two facts, one of which surfaces at the end of this fawning article:
Results is publishing an advertisement this week that states: “Results Galax, a full service contact center company to be located at the Crossroads center in Galax, Va., is seeking talented individuals to fill 225 inbound customer service positions for our new contact center on behalf of our major satellite radio client.”The ad described Results as a mid-sized contact center with 20 years of experience in handling customer service and sales calls for major blue chip clients.The other fact is this: Those $7 an hour jobs (The House just passed a bill raising the minimum wage to $7.15, so these jobs are effectively starting one out at below-minimum wage) are replacing 1,100 excellent factory jobs that have been lost in Galax in recent years, where the average hourly wage was $14.50 and the employee benefits were excellent, a circumstance that our congressman didn't lift a finger to prevent, preferring instead to devote his every waking moment, if this article provides any indication, to wooing another call center company to the area instead.
The ad said the jobs would pay $7 per hour during the three-week training period and go to $8 per hour afterwards.
Thanks go out to Results Galax and XM Satellite Radio for bringing much-needed employment to Southwest Virginia.
As for our political leadership ...