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Bridge? Local Hire?
By Elroy C. Edenshaw Jr.


August 01, 2005

In my opinion one of the questions our local leaders and residents should be asking is: Who is going to build the bridge?

I have heard all the pros and cons of tribal concerns relating to the bridge location and land surrounding where the bridge may be constructed. In my opinion these issues can and should be worked out. But also these concerns should have been talked about sooner and in a venue that best suited to resolve the concerns these tribal members had. I am not saying these members don't have merit to their concerns, but I want to point out this simple and basic leadership quality.  Our leaders need to be proactive and not reactive. But, also our community needs to understand your voice can be heard before and not after the fact.

In my opinion our local and state elected officials or local tribal organizations have a opportunity to be proactive with the local hire issue relating to building the bridge or other large capital projects in the area.

I can understand that some might say, there might be a lack of qualified and experienced work force in Ketchikan. Or union organizations might give a strong and informative concept to minimize the extent of qualified local work force in the area to justify outside or out sourcing of jobs to get the job done. They may be right?

The question I would like to ask the unions or local leaders or tribal organizations that serve our community: Are you going to be proactive to insure local hire and training? 

And those in our community concerned, please voice your opinion or concern relating to local hire now. I would rather hear your voice or opinion before and not after the fact. Let's all be proactive. Let's keep the jobs here in Alaska.

Thank you,

Elroy C. Edenshaw Jr.
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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