Former state workers can find good jobs

Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2003

It always surprises me that you don't hear much about the new employment opportunities that follow the initial shock of state employee downsizing. It's true that no one likes the anxiety and uncertainty of the job hunt, but, realistically, qualified people will find employment in the private sector. And if there is a market demand for the work they do, the private sector may hire them to do the same job, in a much more liberating way, and likely at a significantly lower cost to taxpayers.

Downsized employees will argue that private-sector employment does not carry the same level of benefits. Parity and equity are important issues at contract negotiation time and state employee unions manage to repeatedly make the case that the job market offers higher salary and benefits than state jobs. Surely that means those equitable opportunities are indeed out there. Though that may not be true in many cases, take heart, it is the world that the majority of Alaskans live and thrive in.

As a small-business owner who is often in the market for good employees, I don't see the plight of temporary unemployment as a valid reason to not make the necessary budget cuts. I encourage downsized employees to focus on the value of their contribution, to look for the opportunity to accomplish something meaningful, and demonstrate the resiliency Alaskans are known for. You'll undoubtedly be OK; why don't you take this opportunity to go out there and be excellent! I for one pay excellent employees excellently.

Linda Peters


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