Letters to the Editor…

What about the fiftysomethings?

I just read your article “We’ve got the cure” (editorial, April issue). It was interesting, but did not address the problem that folks over 50 have finding employment when they wish to change jobs.

My husband is 53, in excellent health (runs six miles a day, doesn’t drink, smoke or use drugs) and has a B.S. in education, which is useless to him at this point. He has worked at Georgia Pacific in Gaylord for the past 27 years. He makes about $13 an hour, works afternoons in the tool crib, and does not have enough seniority for day shift–and never will. He would like to change jobs to one with a more positive and healthy environment on the day shift.

He is a very good worker with a positive attitude and an absolutely impeccable work history. He averages over 400 hours a year in forced overtime and would like to change jobs to be at home in the evenings with our children, ages 12 and 15. I work midnights and the kids spend too much time home alone, raising themselves.

He would be willing to work for $9 an hour to be home with the kids, but nobody will hire him. He has applications all over Petoskey, Boyne City and Gaylord, but everybody wants the young folks, the disabled, or the people out on parole from prison. They get perks for hiring them.

Nobody even checks on my husband’s references. If they did, they would find out that he is very well-liked at his job and comes with excellent recommendations. This man has never even had a traffic violation! He is a veteran and gives away beef every year from our farm to whoever might be in need. We have also housed many children here on our farm with no help from social service agencies whatsoever.

In my estimation, most of the employers in northern Michigan deserve the problems they have. I think there is a lot of age discrimination going on. My husband can work circles around most men half his age. He never goes into work late and has an excellent attendance record–a letter of recommendation from Joe Simms, the plant manager at Georgia Pacific, attests to this.

So, what do you think is the problem here?

Linda Eastwood, Boyne Falls

Coverage appreciated

I must compliment you on your magazine. The articles are great and your grasp on “what’s happening” business-wise in TC is amazing. I read the publication from cover to cover and find that it helps me spot business opportunities. It’s helpful to be ahead of the game instead of behind the eightball. Thank you.

Susan Wischman, Duck Lake Peninsula

Article helped clarify misconceptions of mental illness

It was with pleasure that I read the article “Supported employment a win-win situation” in the April edition of The Business News. The article was very well-written, with accurate facts. The quotes from mental health professionals and business owners were forthright and honest.

There are many misconceptions regarding mental illness and it is these types of articles that help clarify and present truthful information. This population needs an honest voice. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this informative article.

Betty Clark, clubhouse supervisor for Club Cadillac, a psychosocial rehabilitation program for people with chronic mental illness.

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