August 24, 2016
By MICKEY POWELL
MARTINSVILLE – Plenty of jobs are available locally, but people must be motivated to work and seek training they need to do the jobs, according to city officials and an economic developer.
During a Martinsville City Council meeting Tuesday night, they estimated that about 1,400 jobs are available in the area.
"We don’t have an employment problem. We have a participation problem" — people don’t want to be part of the workforce anymore, City Manager Leon Towarnicki told the council. He said he was quoting remarks that he recently heard Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) President Angeline Godwin make.
Mark Heath, president and chief executive officer of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC), said the key to filling available jobs is "to motivate people that it’s better to have a job and go to work" than to rely on government aid to sustain themselves.
Officials repeatedly have said that local firms with jobs available have had trouble finding people qualified to do their jobs.
Heath mentioned film manufacturer Eastman Chemical Co. as an example.
"There are jobs there," he emphasized. "They are hiring."
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