Freedom Folks

Thursday, February 23, 2006

MJ's New Word of the Day: Farmshoring

In a crook of Clinch Valley in Lebanon, Va., there are no counterculture coffeehouses, no art museums, and the "ginger" salad dressing at the town's only Japanese restaurant is really Thousand Island.

Despite its country couture, Lebanon (pop. 3,300), once betrothed to King Coal, is on the cutting edge of a new business trend. The farmshoring phenomenon, in which high-tech companies choose to open offices in rural America as opposed to India, China, or Mexico, is coming to this mid-Appalachian plateau.
Read the whole article here.

Yes! This is music to my American ears -- a balm to my American spirit.
Late last year, two major IT firms, CGI-AMS and Northrop-Grumman, announced they were bringing more than 700 technology jobs to Lebanon that pay around $50,000 a year. These positions are in the same class as the 112,000 IT jobs nationwide that were lost to overseas outsourcing in 2003, according to Global Insight in Boston.

In a town where the average salary is around $27,000, many residents welcome the arrival of the IT revolution. It's also a subtle promise that the region's talented young people may stay where horses and mules graze behind rickety fences on sloping hillsides.
Please, sir, may I have some more?
Other technology companies are also putting high-level programming and data- crunching jobs in rural America locales with less traffic and lower rents to cut costs and remove the legal entanglements, cross-cultural differences, and time-zone hassles that come with overseas outsourcing.

"When you look at [farmshore] communities that are becoming successful, they're saying, 'Yes, we can compete with offshore, and we add value to these companies,' " says John Allen, director of the Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University.
Of course, there are naysayers...
Critics, meanwhile, worry that these jobs, which are often temporary, could give false hope to desperate communities.
I don't want to ignore or even downplay legitimate concerns, but, for God's sake, these are American companies willing to keep jobs in America. No one, I'm sure, has any ridiculous illusions that they are doing it for altruistic reasons. Which is all the more reason to put our much-lauded ingenuity to work and do everything we can to make it good for American companies AND AMERICAN WORKERS.
Chandler Meade, a high school junior and budding videographer, is also encouraged. "It's nice to know that I might be able to stay here and raise a family instead of having to go somewhere else to do that," he says.
You know, the pro-illegal-immigration crowd is always trumpeting the family values and work of those who mock this country by coming and staying illegally. How about something other than a deafening silence when it comes to a little justice for American citizens and their opportunities to live, work, and raise a family here?

As seen@
The conservative cat Don Surber Is it just me? NIF Cao's blog (we love Cao!) Bloggin' outloud
the liberal wrong wing Stuck on Stupid Adam's blog tmh's bacon bits third world county
Imaginekitty Jo's cafe basil's blog bright & early