Opinion

Sound Works Job Center needed for economic recovery

The way to economic recovery is jobs.

That's why it was so discouraging, and puzzling, to hear the city of Poulsbo proposes to cut funding to a job placement service already run on a shoestring.

Sound Works Job Center has found jobs for more than 4,200 people since 1994.

In a county with 7.3 percent unemployment, in a city of less than 9,000 people that is building a $15.8 million city hall, the idea that saving $5,300 through the end of 2010 amounts to a serious effort to rein in spending is almost laughable.

It would be laughable if that $5,300 wasn't being spent to help unemployed people find jobs.

If there is $5,300 the city should be spending, it is on services such as Sound Works. In fact, instead of cutting funding, the city should be looking for ways to assist residents in finding work.

It is in the city's best interest to fund Sound Works and other no-fee job placement services. It shouldn't take much deliberation.

As has been stated, the cuts to Sound Works Job Center, which can already afford to be open just four days a week, are not a “done deal.” That the city allows the center to stay in a small room in a city-owned building for free is a positive contribution, something that helps the city save face.

But that the cuts are even being considered is enough to cause Poulsbo and North Kitsap residents to raise eyebrows about the city's priorities and question if some city officials have a clue of what families are experiencing right now.

Without jobs, people won't spend money and the city won't get a share of sales tax. This is needed to pay for the new City Hall and to keep paying for those core services.

Without jobs, the demand for social services increases, the stress and anxiety of families spills over into the classroom and the jail.Without jobs, people find themselves in desperate situations.

Cutting funding to Sound Works isn't pennywise. But it is foolish.

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