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Herald-Mail Forums

September 17, 2007

This week's question: Some of those who answered last week's question said they commute to work in the metropolitan areas. If you commute, what sort of job and/or wages would keep you in Washington County?

· Retirement is a good job if you get a healthy pension and have some investment income. Other great jobs are with the county government, Washington County Public Schools and the hospital - if you can stand the bureaucracy. These are mostly white-collar jobs with very good pay and fringe benefits and comfortable working conditions. Of course, it helps to know someone already working there if you really want to get hired. And all three organizations are growing rapidly.

· My husband and I make $113,000/year combined. I work for the federal government and my husband works for a small company in Montgomery County, Md. Working in a factory or on an assembly line (the only jobs available in this area it seems) will never earn you that kind of salary.

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· The real problem is that the taxes are too high and there are too many government workers in the area. The only way to create wealth is to take raw material, apply labor to it and sell it for a profit. Anything else is just transfer of wealth from one area to another. That is why America is going down the tubes.

· Since I work here, I'll turn the question around to: What would it take for me to choose to go down the road? It would take close to six digits and the job-fulfillment sense that I was impacting people and not just making money. Though there are more than assembly-line jobs in this area, it is difficult to locally replace a good job from a place such as Montgomery County.

· There are great-paying jobs in Washington County. The problem is that most people here don't have any work experience doing something that requires skill. The schools around this area don't teach enough for a person to get and keep a good job. And then there are those who think they can start at the highest wages available in a company. I transferred here three years ago because the company I work for could not find local people to do the job I do today.

· The jobs that really pay well (Board of Education, government and "white-collar" positions) have this really nasty habit of wanting to transfer people up here to fill vacancies, rather than hire new people off the street or out of school to do the same job, because they don't have to train them.

· My in-laws keep urging me to "go get a government job," but it isn't like I can just stroll in and pick one of those up. Even with skills, you might as well forget it up this way. Travel to Baltimore, make the money, then transfer up so you don't have to commute.

· The Hagerstown area needs higher-paying jobs. Who can live on the lousy jobs being brought to Hagerstown and the surrounding areas? The cost of owning a home (or renting), having decent transportation, food, gas and utilities takes more than the average $9 to $14 paid by companies in the area. Our kids have to either take a job down the road or move to a different location altogether. What has our local government done for the people of Hagerstown in the past 20 years?

· This question brings out the very thing that was discussed here a little while ago. That is...how much of this beautiful rural lifestyle are you willing to sacrifice for the money? Everyone is hollering now about the hills around here being constantly raped for new houses. Now the hospital must move to a bigger, better location, Maugans Avenue must be widened and our school system is overburdened. Come on, folks, do you really want this area to look like Montgomery County or even Frederick? It's a double-edged sword! You can't have it both ways.

· County Commissioner. I bet less than 10 percent of the people who vote in February will have read the draft on home rule that they will approve, giving me all kinds of power. I'll campaign on cutting taxes, then raise 'em and blame it on a Democratic governor and no one around here will be the wiser - again.

Restaurants and retail stores, that's our area. We all know the salary scale for this. People driving down the road weekly to spend their money they make down there, around here, on the weekend. This is definitely a bedroom community!! Until they bring the technology companies in here, zzzzzzzzzzz.

· I make what I consider to be good money here in Washington County, but I have two master's degrees. Education does help you to get a better job, and better pay.

· I teach in Montgomery County, and make roughly about $15,000 a year more than a teacher with same experience in Washington County makes.

· So, basically, if you can't afford to go to school and get a couple of master's degrees, a PhD, MD, JD or some other alphabet-soup degree, you might as well memorize that lovely phrase: "Do you want fries with that?"

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