June 5 editorial: Hardin County bright in a dark market

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ISSUE: The Classes of 2009 OUR VIEW: Opportunity at home

By Sarah Reddoch

The headlines are chilling:

“High school seniors graduating into tough job market.”

“Tougher job market for graduating college seniors.”

“Few job prospects for '09 graduating class.”

“Graduates struggle in a tough job market.”

The message young high school and college graduates are hearing these days screams “be afraid, be very afraid.” And survey results show they have responded accordingly.

A survey taken at the end of April by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed only 59 percent of graduating seniors surveyed had started looking for a job, compared to 75 percent who had started by that time in 2008 and 64 percent in 2007. About 40 percent had applied for a job.

The Wall Street Journal reports that researchers and career coaches say recent grads have a lack of faith in today’s job market. Is it any wonder? It’s enough to scare even a Phi Beta Kappa. But if there’s one thing graduates from Hardin County can count on, it is faith:

Faith that the area’s economy is growing.

Faith that new opportunities are developing daily.

Faith that their skills are needed and in demand.

Faith that there is comfort at home.

Is there a job for every graduate today? Sadly, no. But recent economic developments in Hardin County provide a blueprint few ever have the advantage of seeing. There is a future in human resources management in Hardin County. There is a future in engineering new sources of power in Hardin County. There is a future in the tertiary businesses and services in Hardin County that will follow realignment at Fort Knox and development of the Glendale industrial site.

For too long too many of our best and brightest students have completed their education and ended up seeing Hardin County in their rear-view mirrors instead of as the place where they plan to return. But more than ever, home should be seen as a place of comfort and of opportunity.

As the last students cross the stage tonight to join those high school and college graduates who received their diplomas in recent days, they can have faith that not only are they wanted at home, they are needed. The future is theirs.  This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.