Address Corporate Culture Before Handing Out Money

by Lewis Loflin

More jobs for politically connected consultants, zero for working people.

Another $1.3 million in ARC grants are being given to the Southwest Virginia Alliance For Manufacturing is another waste of public funds in my opinion. This has been around for years and in my opinion is a totally useless. They supposedly advise companies how to retool for manufacturing from the coal industry to something else. They have been around for at least 15 years in one form or the other and have produced nothing that anybody will share with the public.

I brought this problem up with their predecessor and was informed in no less hostile terms that their mission is to assist business and in no way address labor issues. That according to a Mr. Kravitz, "local business doesn't give a damn about your education, skills, or experience". Bristol Compressors is the typical abusive and low-wage employer we deal with everyday. This is what the so-called Southwest Virginia Alliance For Manufacturing won't address. There is no labor or skills shortage in this region, but a refusal of workers to put up with low pay and abusive labor tactics employed by local business - these non-profit consultants never address that.


According to them:

To establish and promote the regional collaborations in support of manufacturing and manufacturing careers as part of an economic development initiative.

Academic babble.

To redefine the image of manufacturing with young people and their parents, their educators, the community and policymakers in a manner that increases the number of young adults and other member of the workforce who pursue manufacturing careers.

Why don't they address the abuse, low pay, and dirty labor tactics used by local business? Read the comments below from Bristol Compressors one of their members.

To close the skills gap for regional manufacturers by aligning educational and workforce training resources with the most pressing demands of area industry.

Yet many of these programs are already available at our community colleges without another layer of consultants and grant collectors. In addition nowhere will any local employer make a commitment or hire those that go through the expense of attending already available programs.

This is a jobs programs for themselves and I've asked for a list of how many people they actually got jobs for. I'm still waiting for an answer.

Typical examples:

Charles B. · Kingsport, Tennessee Jun 28, 2015:

Bristol Compressors doesn't have the reputation or the pay grades any longer to draw BACK the skilled labor they once had. Changing a CEO does not change the history of a company.

Eugene P. Jun 28, 2015:

Worked there about 8 years ago I almost got my 5 years in until new owners took over and decided they didn't need a few hundred of us so they said that in a few weeks they would inform us of the ones that where leaving but that was a lie when we went back to our jobs our lay off envelopes were on our supervisor's desk. Hope new owners are more honest.

Lisa W. · Bristol, Virginia Jun 28, 2015:

"Gniewek said the average rate of pay is around $17 an hour with good benefits." Excuse me? I have worked at Bristol Compressors continuously for 21 years, my loyalty and hard work is worth slightly less than $15 an hour.

Stephen S. · Castlewood High Jul 1, 2015:

That is average rate. When you look that most of the employees have been there for 20 years or longer. And Lisa if you have been there 21 years and only making $15 an hour, there are other departments that make more. I worked there 15 yrs. MYSELF and started out at $4 an hr. I was making a little over $15 when I left.

Greg S. · Cypress College Jun 29, 2015:

Bristol is a 2nd tier compressor behind Copeland and LG. I won't sell air conditioning units with Bristol compressors.

Crystal R. · Works at Johnson City Medical Center Jun 29, 2015:

$17 hr average pay? My step dad worked there over 19 yrs And Hardly cleared $19 hr. Maybe if they stopped laying off so frequently laborers would apply. The benefits get worse every year. There are more "chiefs" than "Indians". This used to be a good place to work, now it's only a good place to get some sort of income in for the quarter before standing in the unemployment line.

Sheila Williams Harris Jun 30, 2015:

There are lots of good skilled labor in our area but they are not going to work for cheap wages and bad or no benefits.

Joey C. · Systems Engineer Sr. at Agc Flat Glass North America Jan 23, 2016:

Maybe the latest CEO should educate himself on the history of layoffs of skilled labor this company has made over the past decade 30 or 40 jobs that's less than a 5% of the amount of skilled labor this company has layed off over of past years. A lot of people the company knew that this would happen you cannot run a business this way skilled labor does not want to work for Bristol Compressors. Just look at the corporate welfare and other negative layoff announcements the statements made in this article are ridiculous. the link to this article gives a clearer picture of the true Bristol Compressors.

Angie C. Mar 18, 2016:

They have had many skilled workers .. As my brothers and uncles were. They CAN'T KEEP skilled workers because of their CONSTANT 2-WEEK layoffs! How do they expect people to work a month then take 2 weeks off? They have families and bills? Of course salaried staff don't suffer this routine.. Only the labor in the factory! If they want SKILLED QUALITY EMPLOYEES THEN TREAT THEM WELL. Pay them well. And work them consistently! The problem is in the company practices not the workers!

See Appalachian Regional Commission Government Waste

See ARC Virginia Grants Go For Pork and Salaries 2015-16

See 30 Years of Government Failure in Southwest Virginia.

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