Commissioner’s Meeting-May 21, 2019 Workforce Development and Economic Development??? What are the Details? The Costs? Who will do What??? Report by Robert A. Williams

As I sat there in the May 21, 2019 Commissioner’s meeting, listening to the 2019-2020 Budget Report, I heard the words “Workforce Development” and “Economic Development” for about the gazillionth time. At other commissioner’s meetings, at school board meetings and at CCC Board of Trustee meetings too. I hear about all these committees, partnerships, duplicate groups looking at the same thing-but not talking to each other, etc. And to this very instant I have not heard one single word that described in any specific details (that can be verified) the written plans and documents, numbers of students taking whatever courses, where the courses will be taught, who will do the teaching and what the cost will be. Everybody at every level talks about changing the world but nobody will tell me how they plan to do it. And I have asked many times.

So, my conclusion, without any information to the contrary, is all this workforce development and economic development talk is all hot air, baloney, political lies, that nobody is working together and nobody is in charge or accountable. About the only thing that I am pretty sure of, is that the taxpayers like you and me will be paying the bills for everybody involved.

Oh, there was some talk about the wonderful kitchen at the LeGrand Center. And that culinary school classes could be taught there, under the auspices of Cleveland Community College. I figure former Commissioner and loser Jason Falls came up with that idea as a way to hide his excessive salary as the Director of the LeGrand Center. Get CCC to pay part of his overgenerous salary and benefits. Perhaps I would be interested in taking a cooking class or too. Perhaps learn the best way to sharpen a kitchen knife, cut up an onion or other such useful stuff. But, overall, I believe a Home Economics class at every high school, like ones taught at Burns at Fallston in 1965, would do better offering such classes to both the boys and girls. Just to prepare them to live in today’s society

And there was talk about a new group, partnership or definition unknown, and with people unnamed, called “Accelerate Cleveland” who would help do something undefined. For about 20 students to go the Cleveland Community College. Paid at minimum wage to go to CCC for undefined classes. Twenty out of about 1,000 or so students that graduate from CCS every year. That is about 2/10ths of one percent. Another high dollar program that will benefit few, but will be bragged about a lot. You can be sure of that.

One more thing that I will mention in this article was the statement in the proposed budget that the commissioners would “increase citizen engagement and commitment” by sharing programs and services. I don’t have a clue how the commissioners will accomplish that as they treat people like nobody’s who come (if any come) to speak under citizens recognition. I know that I used to speak often, but got tired of never being listened to or my questions answered. So, I have vowed never to speak to them again. I just send them copies of the articles I write and information requests under the Freedom Of Information Act and NC Public Records laws.

Folks, stay tuned. This article covers only one of many things you need to know about what your tax dollars are paying for. There is more to come. Many more that will be covered by separate articles.

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