Letters to the Editor

Perdue Farms will stimulate area growth

Ernest Wade's letter ("New jobs ... for whom?" July 19) predicted negative results from the Perdue Farms announcement to build a plant in Houston County. As a retired poultry industry human resources professional, I would like to address his concerns.

We are fortunate that our economy is growing in a way that companies are able to expand. This creates jobs. In this case, Perdue plans to offer 900-plus jobs. I estimate that 750-800 of these jobs will be in processing. They will have two shifts and will process in the neighborhood of 1 million chickens per week. That's almost 6 million pounds per week.

The $20 million payroll will stimulate every existing business in Houston County. Knowing Perdue Farms like I do, I know every church, school and charitable organization in the area will benefit.

The 6 million pounds of product will require 150 truckloads to get to market. Some American worker will start a business to haul those pounds to market in the southern U.S. The 1 million chickens will require 150 chicken houses to be emptied each week (given the six-week growing period there will be 900-plus houses). Some American worker will start a business to clean out those 150 houses and distribute the fertilizer. Some American worker will start a business to catch those 1 million chickens so they can get to the plant.

These upstart businesses - and I list only the more obvious - will need more American workers. Many in the county will take advantage of this opportunity to get off unemployment or welfare. Students in local high schools will now see that professional and technical jobs are available in their hometown rather than going to metro Atlanta.

I fail to see how the American worker will get the shaft. Failure to take advantage of the opportunities is not getting the shaft.

What most folks fail to remember is that throughout the history of our great nation jobs created by our booming economy have been filled first by our unemployed citizens and then those unfilled are filled by "foreign workers." Foreigners have always come to America for the opportunities.

- Jim Rutland


Poultry plant will replace citizens with illegal immigrants

The Gwinnett Daily Post kindly printed a letter of mine ("New jobs ... for whom?" July 19) cautioning the citizens of Houston County that the poultry processing plant that would be opened in their county might not be the blessing they have been praying for. My letter pointed out that businesses such as these will eventually replace local American citizens with illegal aliens.

Need some more convincing? Perhaps Houston County citizens may want to consider the Petit Jean Poultry plant in Arkadelphia, Ark., where federal immigration authorities made a recent rare raid and rounded up 119 illegals of which 115 were from Mexico, two from Honduras and one each from El Salvador and Guatamala.

The tipster who caused the raid was a disgruntled former employee whose job was to provide fraudulent documents for illegal alien employees. This is what routinely happens when poultry processing plants come to small towns. Houston County residents, prepare yourself.

- Ernest Wade