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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Communities Challenged by New Packing Plants


Opposition to establishing new packing and processing plants is based on a number of factors.  Environmental pollution, traffic and odor are cited. Invariably the unspoken concern is the change in character of a small community as a result of an influx of workers. Small towns and counties be may receive upwards of a thousand relatively low-paid line workers and their families most with an international heritage.


Workers required to operate plants have children that require education.  This imposes pressure to provide schooling extending from preschool through K-12. In many communities, a large proportion of children are taught through English as a second language programs. This requires a higher proportion of specialized bilingual teachers and counselors.


Companies intending to locate in a community should shoulder the responsibility of contributing to headstart, elementary and secondary education.  Most companies receive liberal tax benefits to establish a plant. This reduces public sector income required to provide additional services.


Investment in the children of immigrant workers is beneficial to the Nation.  This generation will become qualified workers and professionals, given opportunities that were enjoyed by previous generations of Americans who emigrated from Europe in past decades.  The average age of our citizens is increasing, enrolment in universities and community colleges is declining and we must have a solid base of contributors to social security. We must reject xenophobia and recognize that whatever our resistance to accepting the first generation we have an obligation to provide their children with opportunities to allow them to integrate into the American mainstream, to enrich our culture and contribute to our economy.

Copyright © 2024 Simon M. Shane