23 May Some may be surprised by this Walmart response
Twice last week, I was invited to speak at two events at the Ladys Island Walmart.
Standing in front of 250+ eager new employees, many of whom will no longer have to drive 2-4 hours a day to jobs elsewhere, I was incredibly moved.
They cheered with pride when I asked how many lived on Ladys or St Helena Islands. And when I asked how many would now be able to see their children off to school in the mornings, rather than leaving that to someone else or the children alone, they cheered. When I asked how many would be more likely to be able to attend parent teacher conferences because their work was closer to home, they again cheered.
I am not sure why I was surprised because we have talked about better jobs closer to home for years.
No, they will not be on assembly lines making automobiles and airplanes earning $24 - $40 or more an hour. Then again the jobs to which they traveled were no better. And no, this is not the stopping point in generating jobs closer to home. But for many it is an improvement that will bring better and healthier lives to many families. And for the younger workers with whom I spoke, it might help them pay for classes at TCL or USCB so they can get even better jobs.
Another surprise was that over the weekend I was told by people I ran into who live at Dataw, Distant, Fripp and Cat Islands and others who live to northern reaches of Ladys Island that shopping for some of their needs became much easier last week.