“It’s no time for partisan politics”

January 31, 2013

“It’s no time for partisan politics”

by Sen. MARK GREEN, M.D.

I was in the first grade and my father had just lost his right arm to bone cancer, the result of radiation exposure while he was serving in the Air Force as a nuclear weapons specialist.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the day my dad’s pay got cut in half.

 

I remember overhearing him tell my mom what his boss had said: “You’re only half a man now, so we’re going to only pay you half your salary.” Until then, my dad’s job at a paper mill had provided a decent living for the Green household.  After that day, it isn’t so much the many sacrifices I remember – the little luxuries we gave up, the extra odd jobs we each were expected to do – but the arguments, stress and tears it caused.  I thought of those days this week when I learned that 300 workers at Hemlock Semiconductorin Clarksville are about to be laid off — even before the company’s brand new $1.2 billion plant everwent into production.

 

There are plenty of reasons for this, and no shortage of places to point the finger of blame –from trade disputes with China to Solyndra-like investments by our federal government in alternative energy that the country doesn’t yet seem to want. Nevertheless, with the long-standing rumors of impending layoffs now true, this is no time to look for scapegoats. To do so would be small comfort to the 300 unemployed workers, their spouses, kids and extended families. They deserve better than that.  There will be plenty of time to find out what went wrong here, and to fix things so it won’t happen again. Right now, what those folks need is a good job. Rather than wring our hands, let’s all pitch in to help these workers – and all the other unemployed and under-employed in our community – get back on their feet.  Each of us can do a little something.

 

I have spoken to the Chamber of Commerce, where leaders were eager to help. Together we could sponsor a Job Fair where, hopefully, we can match some local job openings with good workers to fill them. If you are a business willing to help, please email me at markegreenmd@gmail.com orcontact the Chamber leadership. In the meantime, I will be accepting resumes starting right now at my office, which I’ll circulate to our business community in every meeting I have with job creators around the 22nd District. I’ll also ask my fellow businesspeople to advise me of job openings so I can post them on Twitter and my LinkedIn network. Again, anyone interested in my team circulating their résumé should forward it tome at the address above, and that includes anyone, not just HSC folks.

 

As a new member of the General Assembly, I aim to reach out to Democrats and Republicans alike to find ways to create new, good-paying jobs here in Houston, Stewart and Montgomery counties and throughout Tennessee. This is no time for politics or partisanship; this is a time to help our out-of-work friends and neighbors.  Having been honored with a seat on the Senate Commerce Committee with jurisdiction overjob creation and economic growth, I plan on doing all I can to reduce our statewide 7.6 percent unemployment rate (that number, by the way, doesn’t include the thousands of Tennesseans who’vebeen out of work so long they’ve given up looking).We are all going to have to roll up our sleeves, put aside our differences and think creatively to help our friends and neighbors find the jobs they need.  It breaks my heart to think of the thousands of Tennessee youngsters who are about to facethe kinds of memories that happen when Dad or Mom – or both — loses a job.

###

SEN. MARK GREEN, M.D., represents the 22nd Senate District in the Tennessee General Assembly.  He is also founder, CEO and President of Align MD, which provides Emergency Room medical staffing to hospitals in four states. Your resumes and job openings can be sent to him at his office at 1990 Madison Street, Suite 102, Clarksvile, TN 37015 or emailed to him at the address above. Jobs will be posted to his Twitter feed @markegreenmd and on his LinkedIn account at:https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=24004248.