Board learns jobless figures not accurate
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Unemployment has dropped a little since last year, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a problem.
During the Henry County Board of Supervisors regular meeting Tuesday morning board member Gary See discussed with the board possible reasons for the percentage.
“I attended the Iowa Workforce Development meeting,” began See, “ and the topic of discussion was why the rate was what it is. For one, people who drop off the radar won’t be included in the data, so it’s not all accurate. If you aren’t looking for a job, we don’t know who you are.
“We discussed how there are jobs in all counties with for hire signs, so we don’t know what the deal is. In my opinion it’s drugs, it’s people not wanting to work, people taking off after their first paycheck, not showing up for work. We discussed this and we called them ‘soft skills’ that people just don’t have,” said See.
According to See, it’s a societal problem and people just don’t have the certain skills needed to keep or obtain a job.
“I guess 5 percent is a normal rate,” said See. “People just don’t want to work or they have that lackadaisical attitude.”
Up next in board business was Vice-Chairman Greg Moeller with his update from the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission (SEIRPC) board.
“We have assistance to give,” said Moeller. “Henry County has the funds to help out four projects, but people just aren’t applying.”
SEIRPC is actively involved in implementing and operating housing programs throughout the southeast Iowa region that have benefited low and moderate-income residents throughout the four county region and associate member communities, stated the SEIRPC website.
Through the SEIRPC, there a number of housing programs, which help to develop and fund community-based projects, like single-family homeowner rehabilitation or down payment assistance.
“People can pick up the applications from The Fellowship Cup or directly from the SEIRPC,” said Moeller. “There is funding available and we are looking to help people out.”
For more information, contact Jeff Hanan at 319-753-4316 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss discussed with the board what his crews have been up to the past week.
“The rain helped out some with our blading projects,” said Hotchkiss. “On Monday we did some blading, mowing and worked on the maintenance of edge lines. We had some issues with the road top with us moving sod back and forth, but we got the cleared up.
“Tuesday we worked on blading and mowing again, hauling rock in the Tippecanoe Township, ditch cleaning and signage work. Wednesday more blading, ditching work and we worked on some guardrails on bridges in order to improve drainage,” said Hotchkiss.
The engineer continued his update by adding that on Thursday his crews worked on a crossroad pipe on Hickory Avenue, north of 150th Street and worked on the north bridge approach on Oasis Avenue.
“Finally, Friday we worked on blading and the rain pushed us inside, so we did some miscellaneous shop work,” said Hotchkiss.
In other road department news, the Oasis Avenue bridge project is nearing completion, as the contractor is waiting on word from the guardrail company to put the guardrail in.
“Once we get that guardrail in, we can open it up to traffic,” said Hotchkiss. “It’s almost done. We will have other small things to take care of, but we’re almost there. The last thing I have for you today is just a reminder that the intersection of 310th Street and Quincy Avenue will be closed started Wednesday for regarding and the replacing of a crossroad pipe,” concluded Hotchkiss.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again in regular session on Thursday, July 31, at 9 a.m. in the board room at the courthouse.