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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:33 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,619,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
I go back to that ranking of us being 91st out of 100 for the percentage of the workforce with at least a Bachelor's Degree (I believe only 1 in 5 members of the local workforce has a degree). While I'm not some snoot who thinks those with degrees are inherently "better" than people without them you also can't deny the fact that areas with higher concentrations of college graduates also have higher-paying jobs out the wazoo (i.e. NoVA). That's not a coincidence. It seems like so many in NEPA who don't have degrees want to earn the same salaries as those in NJ/NYC, SEPA, NoVA, etc. do.

Let's be honest. If you're not entrepreneurial and don't have a desire to learn a trade (i.e. plumbing, masonry, carpentry, etc.), then your options to be a high-earning blue-collar worker in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre are slim-to-none. Too many people can't accept the fact that the era of your father getting you a job at his factory when you graduated high school are over and aren't coming back. It's time to digest that and accept it, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Cinram? Gone. Techneglas? Gone. Many others will be kicking the bucket over the next decade.

And that is the problem with globalization and companies moving overseas. Not everyone is BA material. Not everyone is HVAC material. This incessant need to make sure we are all white collar workers is a huge part of the downfall of our economy.

The fault does not lie with American worker. The fault lies with high taxes on businesses and it lies with American companies sending so much work overseas.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: NE PA
7,936 posts, read 13,534,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
I go back to that ranking of us being 91st out of 100 for the percentage of the workforce with at least a Bachelor's Degree (I believe only 1 in 5 members of the local workforce has a degree). .
Those numbers are skewed because of the high population of older people in this area, and back in their day, few people went to college. If you polled people under 40, or even 50, I think you'd find that this area is educated. A majority of my high school class went on to college.

This area may not be all latte-sipping PhD's, but its hardly some uneducated hole in backwater West Virginia either.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:47 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,619,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go phillies View Post
Those numbers are skewed because of the high population of older people in this area, and back in their day, few people went to college. If you polled people under 40, or even 50, I think you'd find that this area is educated. A majority of my high school class went on to college.

This area may not be all latte-sipping PhD's, but its hardly some uneducated hole in backwater West Virginia either.

Oh good point! I was going to mention the same thing and forgot to do so. We have a huge elderly population. I'm in my early 30s. Most of the people I know (who still live here) have BAs. Many others have AAs.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:56 AM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,237,815 times
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Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
Oh good point! I was going to mention the same thing and forgot to do so. We have a huge elderly population. I'm in my early 30s. Most of the people I know (who still live here) have BAs. Many others have AAs.

I made that point to Reston months ago after one of his rants.. Those that forget history tend to repeat it..
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:58 AM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,237,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
The problem is:

1.) Most college graduates flee as soon as they earn their degrees, which means these people aren't reflected in annual census estimates as having degrees. Those who stay are often underemployed long-term (i.e. peers of mine with B.S. degrees who work at Home Depot, Lowe's, and Starbuck's for low hourly wages).

2.) One factor (of many) prospective high-paying employers look for is the percentage of the local workforce that would have the skills necessary to work there. Like it or not while I know many inept college graduates and many very talented non-college graduates a degree is often your "ticket" to an interview nowadays. If our area awards 5,000 Bachelor's Degrees every year, and if 4,500 of those people move away to NYC, NJ, SEPA, NoVA, Pittsburgh, Boston, CT, etc., then are we really improving our local skill set that much?

3.) Better employers than Wal-Mart, Mohegan Sun, Home Depot, etc. won't come to take a look at us until we find away to stop the fleecing of our area's best and brightest. I'd LOVE to see PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) open up shop in the Southern Union Building, hiring 100 CPAs and fresh accounting graduates alike with $40,000 starting salaries plus benefits. Is that going to happen when nearly every member of the 2009 King's College B.S. in Accounting class, as just one local example, is now living outside the area?

Pick a stance, which is it? We have no "educated" workforce or we have no employers??
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,614 posts, read 65,609,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
And that is the problem with globalization and companies moving overseas. Not everyone is BA material. Not everyone is HVAC material. This incessant need to make sure we are all white collar workers is a huge part of the downfall of our economy.

The fault does not lie with American worker. The fault lies with high taxes on businesses and it lies with American companies sending so much work overseas.
The problem is that I don't foresee "globalization" going the way of the dinosaur anytime soon. Domestic manufacturers are realizing they can pay someone here in the U.S. $17/hr. (plus benefits) to work on a production line or pay someone in Asia $1/hr. (including benefits, if any) to work in less expensive conditions. For companies who value profits before loyalty to their country this will always be a more attractive option (and then the "holdouts" will HAVE to eventually follow suit to remain competitive).

I agree that not everyone SHOULD go to college. We're transitioning from a nation that "makes" stuff to a nation that markets and services the items made in other nations. I don't like this, but it is what it is.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Lehighton/Jim Thorpe area
2,095 posts, read 2,509,930 times
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You can't say "If Scranton would do X,Y, and Z, people would move to the downtown in droves," because Scranton HASN'T done X,Y, and Z. So back to my original question... why would someone move there NOW?
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:00 PM
 
996 posts, read 800,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
What might help?

1.) My "pay-for-stay" proposal that I've pitched a couple of times to city council in Scranton to no avail. Local (and perhaps state and Federal) jurisdictions, private donors, a consortium of local colleges and universities, etc. would all pool financial resources to establish a scholarship fund in which students enrolling in local institutions of higher learning would sign a contract agreeing to stay within the city limits for "X" number of years after earning their degrees. The amount of tuition assistance offered would rise incrementally and proportionately with the length of time the student committed to the city. For example, a student might be able to garner grants from this fund for up to 50% of their tuition being reimbursed if they commit to living in the city for at least 10 years after graduation. That might go down to 25% assistance for a 5-year commitment. Maybe 10% assistance for a 1-year commitment.
12/hr. range) and instead develop more white-collar opportunities.

As usual, you skimmed right over a problem area.

What about defaults, skips...
What will the city,county do when a 22yr skips town to go live with Mom & Dad and has no assets. That "bribe" was pee'd away.

Do some reseach on the default rate of federal loans.. It is quite high.

What will happen to the non-payers? Toss them in jail??

STRIKE ONE
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:04 PM
 
996 posts, read 800,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
2.) High-speed commuter rail to NYC/NNJ. If locals could board a train in Downtown Scranton and have a 75-minute commute each way to work in Northern New Jersey, then this may also help to convince people to live Downtown and pay peanuts for urban living, walk to the train station, relax/sleep/work en route to their offices, earn higher salaries, and then come back "home" to an area with less congestion and a higher quality-of-life. Xenophobic and geocentric Scrantonians claim the train will just bring "drugs" and "gangs" (completely ignoring the fact, of course, that criminals would much prefer to DRIVE across state lines, as they have been doing, to remain more inconspicuous, but I digress). I know I'd move to Downtown Scranton if I learned I could board a train and take it to work at PwC in Florham Park, NJ, for example, in 75 minutes. I wouldn't dare move to Downtown Scranton and then DRIVE to NJ, though, via I-80. I know some who take the Martz bus to NYC daily for work, but I think the train would offer a slightly more expeditious (and more enjoyable) ride.

Dump 100 Million (and probably more when the cost overruns mount up) for what - to cut an hour tops off the daily comute of people who chose to live a horrendous lifestyle chasing the money in a crime infested city that they refuse to even live in?

Do some research peformed by NJ Transit - there is no ridership to support such an endeavor.

STRIKE 2.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:11 PM
 
12,451 posts, read 27,043,883 times
Reputation: 6946
Excellent discussion. Any chance it can continue without keeping score? Please try to keep to the issues.
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