Face of ‘labor’ shifting in 21st CenturyPublished 11:00pm Friday, August 30, 2013
When Labor Day was created more than 115 years ago, the American worker was a different creature.
Industrious, hard-working men and women who labored in manufacturing and industry. They worked hard – sometimes too hard, too long – for an honest day’s pay and the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families.
Today, the American worker is much harder to define. Service and technical jobs have replaced manufacturing and industry in many places. A tightening economy, an increasing dependence on technology and the growth of outsourcing have brought seismic shifts to the workforce.
Add to that the bleak realities of our national economy during the past five years – including a national unemployment rate of 7.4 percent in July and millions of underemployed workers trying to eek out a living – and Labor Day takes on a new perspective in 2013.
To thrive and be successful in today’s marketplace, the American worker must evolve and grow. He, or she, must be adaptable; smart; quick to learn; willing to work hard; efficient; and accessible. Businesses and industries are demanding more from their workforces, and lucky for us their finding those needs met right here in Pike County. Industries leaders – from defense to transportation to technology – echo a common sentiment: the workforce in Pike County is among the hardest working they’ve seen.
The face of “labor” may be shifting in the 21st Century, but one thing we know is this: In Pike County, our workers are growing, adapting and ready to meet new challenges and opportunities.