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Letters to the Editor

June 16, 2009

Laid-off employees must take positive steps



To the editor:

The front-page headline announcing the pending closure of the Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream plant was another one-two blow to a county already reeling from closures, layoffs and record high unemployment.

Unlike many who lose their jobs, Good Humor employees are getting the news months in advance of when the actual layoffs begin. One thing that continually strikes me when I begin working with someone in career transition is how little time they have spent managing their career.

In preparation for the inevitable, I have some recommendations to share with the Good Humor employees and anyone else who is uncertain about their job security.

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First, recognize the only real job security lies in your ability to remain marketable. To compete in today's world of work, you need skills that you did not need when you accepted your last job 10 or more years ago, and the ability to use the computer is at the top of the list. At the very least, learn how to use e-mail and Microsoft Word. You can't even apply for most jobs without these skills.

If you never finished high school, you will find it difficult to compete without a high school diploma. Enroll in GED classes or start working toward an external diploma.

Build and nurture your professional network. Don't wait until your job ends to begin making connections. Employers hire people they know and people they like. The more people you know who are aware of your skills and strengths, the quicker you will find employment.

Document your career accomplishments. It does not matter if you are working the production line or managing the company, you contributed your time and talents, which benefited the company in many ways. Build your rsum around your accomplishments, not your duties.

The road ahead for the Good Humor employees is going to be rocky, but with the right preparation, tools and resources, their transition will be a lot less challenging. Those who take positive steps now might never need to draw an unemployment check.

Norine Dagliano
Hagerstown




Back up health insurance opinions with facts



To the editor:

Lately, I have been reading, in both the newspapers and online, material that is similar to the statement on page A4 of the Monday, June 15, 2009, Herald-Mail.

"'National health insurance' is simply another bottle of government 'snake oil' being pitched to the public. Don't buy it!'" This and other articles talk at length about how awful the Canadian and British government health insurance plans are.

These articles discussing and providing documentation of how bad the Canadian and British medical-care programs are lead me to ask a question. Canada and Britain are both democracies where the people elect their leadership. If the national health insurance programs of both Canada and Britain are so awful, why are the people of Canada and Britain not electing representatives who will end or radically change their national health insurance programs?

When people write articles talking about the inadequacies of the British and Canadian programs, I would appreciate if they would attach data showing what percentage of the Canadian and British people wish to eliminate their programs.

Russell Williams
Hagerstown




How about a patriotic display in the square?



To the editor:

Concerning people praising the butterflies in Hagerstown: I would like to see a patriotic theme in the square due to the fact that we still have military troops stationed in Iraq and other parts of the world.

They should go with a patriotic theme that shows more meaning of a tribute to those who are serving and who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

I also would like to note about people wanting signals or stop signs put up every time there is a vehicle accident at that location. I feel putting up signs and signals is not going to help the problem or stop accidents from occurring. The problem starts with the drivers of their vehicles.

Putting up these signals and signs is not going to stop accidents from happening. It's the people who like living their life in the fast lane and are always in a rush. They just need to slow down.

Russell "Pete" Seville
Greencastle, Pa.




We'd be better off without GOP thrill-seekers



To the editor:

How do we keep thrill-seeking teenage Texans out of the White House and us out of war?

I remember reading recently about an 85-year-old teenager jumping out of airplanes and his 60-year-old child racing over rough terrain in an ATV. I seem to recall that both have been known to race about the coastal waters of Maine in a motorboat.

If this is typical of the judgment and intellectual rigor of the Republicans, I think they should strike their tents and silently steal away from the political fray. The nation would be better off without them.

Harold C. Craig
Emmitsburg, Md.

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