It's barely noticeable unless you know where to look and, even then, you have to know what you are looking at.
I noticed it about three years ago, when a few people I know began to notice it, too. Some of the people who left Niagara Falls a long time ago for greener pastures are coming home to stay. I began to ask around. Just how many people are coming home to the Niagara Frontier to live and work as opposed to the ones leaving because they cannot find work here?
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What would it take to convince people who have left the area over the past 30 years to come back home and help put this place back together?
There are probably more than 5,000 students graduating each year from local colleges and vocational schools, but there are almost no jobs available for the students when they come out wide-eyed, bushy-tailed and eager to find their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So what happens?
Most are willing to take something less than their dream job and are willing to work their way up from the bottom in some field far from what they thought they wanted to do and for a whole lot less money than they need in order to support themselves. So what do they wind up doing?
Of course, they have to find work someplace else, anyplace but right here where their skills are most needed but least demanded.
I wondered out loud to a number of people. What do we need to do to stop and reverse the outflow? What do we have to offer young, educated couples who are looking for jobs that we don't have here? Nobody had any answers, so I decided to ask those people myself.
The answers were not entirely surprising, but they would, if taken seriously, require some major changes in the way we do things around here.
The path we are on can only lead to further decline and an increased tax burden on the shrinking number of those who will continue to be left behind.
|Niagara Falls Reporter||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||Dec. 14 2004|