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Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : opinion : columns June 29, 2015


9/15/2012 12:40:00 PM
Editorial Column: So what's the attraction?

Rich Thurlow
Editor


If you get past Page 1 and get into the real local, local stuff - the fine print on the Work & Money page, the restaurant inspections, stuff like that - you know that Kingman Regional Medical Center has a good track record when it comes to attracting people who have gone to school a very long time and place initials and abbreviations in front of and behind their names.

This past week, for example, KRMC announced two more radiologists had joined the staff. In recent months our hospital has brought in six such specialists. All have trained at the Mayo Clinic, if memory serves.

But this isn't about KRMC's success at recruiting, or even about how the hospital is going to address the incredibly busy emergency room.

Instead, let's talk about a shortage locally of skilled workers for the manufacturing jobs in Mohave County, many of them in Kingman. The story in Monday's Miner included a photo of Randy Barnes, who was working on a horizontal boring mill, another of David Kuhn, who was grinding a crusher head, and a third of Jim Knox, who was working on a vertical lathe. All three are Laron Inc. employees.

There's no question these men have specific, marketable skills. They might fall into the group of qualified workers who average $51,000 a year in pay.

And that's a pretty decent paycheck for Kingman, Arizona, particularly when you can get yourself a really nice home for about half of what you would have paid a few years back.

The issue is that the local workforce can't handle those jobs. There are opportunities to learn those skills, and I've got a lot of confidence in the ability of folks around here to do that kind of work if they have the aptitude for it. Not everyone does.

These are the kind of jobs that kind of ruin the argument that there is nothing to keep our kids from moving on down the road after they finish high school.

Aside from that, though, they are also the kind of good-paying jobs that should attract skilled workers from elsewhere, particularly in this Obameconomy. If there are people out there who can do the work but don't want to do it in Kingman, then the Human Resources pros in these manufacturing companies need to get in touch with KRMC and find out why the hospital can attract top-notch talent and they can't.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

I have read some of the classes that some of our schools of higher learning subject our kids to and it is rediculous.
Let's have more vocational schools for youngsters who have no interest in going to college and want to learn a trade.
I had no interest in going to college and joined the Navy and learned a trade while there (which I never used) but was able to get into the building trades when I got out and went from there....now the building trades are hard to get into for a beginner.
I went to a High School years ago that still had shop classes that if it wasn't for them I would have never made it as far as I did
. Now because of budget restraints and liabilities they don't offer the classes I got and it is a shame.
Today education needs to be turned around and think of the pupils future and not the teachers unions!
Until we start educating our kids in things they can use in life, I'm afraid this country will continue it's spiral downward.


Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

There are not enough jobs that require serious training to get the county out of being rated the lowest in the state for average number of years of education.

More transplants are needed, it seems all that the homegrown folk can do is produce more methheads, losers, and burger flippers.

And before you ask, i am not local. I moved here because of the low cost of living. Due in part to the large number of minimum wage losers available to all the scut work.

Don't believe my assessment? Check out the US census demographics for Mohave County. Itsw a real eye opener. LOL6


Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012
Article comment by: CC DUBYA

The issue is that the local workforce can't handle those jobs. There are opportunities to learn those skills, and I've got a lot of confidence in the ability of folks around here to do that kind of work if they have the aptitude for it. Not everyone does.

Wow! Ya really believe this. Yes there are folks out there who have the skills and experiance to fill these jobs. Their just not immediate family members of the people who already work there. So they never get a shot at the job, someone's inept relative does.


Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

Huh? what are you saying....first, your "facts" are bogus, Medicare is a portion of KRMC's payments, as are ACCESS, as are all the various Health Insurence plans people in our community have. None of which pay KRMC based on patient satisfaction surveys. They pay based on negotiated rates for each and every procedure. And the so callled system is broken...but that is another subject altogether. I will tell you of a recent case that I have personal knowledge of though....We just got a letter from our insurance company saying the hospital had billed just over $18,000 for a one hour outpatient procedure. Our insurance paid about $2000 (the negotiated rate for the procedure), and we paid a $254 copay.....and the bill is satisfied, we will not here from KRMC again.....now what's wrong with this picture. If we didn't have insurance (to negotiate a reasonable rate) we would be stuck with a outlandish bill.

To return to your lack of understanding of the facts, in Kingman, it might be acceptable to spend millions of "public money" without any real oversight. KRMC is after all a community owned medical center...it follows that the money they spend essentially belongs to you and me.....and spending millions for a building that they don't use and spending like drunken sailors paying waaaaay to much for all the highly pedigreed doctors they hire is questionable as well. My point is that nobody appears to be asking the question....certainly not the so called Board of Directors, and certainly not the so called Management Team at the hospital. What better investigative report for our local paper than a hard look at an employer that is community owned and employs a lot of people and spends a lot of money....."community" money.....


Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Article comment by: To Concerned Citizen

You accuse the editor and the paper of not doing "real reporting", yet I see you doing no real reporting here either. Just because a business is "non-profit" does not mean that they throw money around needlessly, there's a reason why people in LHC and Bullhead travel the extra 45 minutes to get treated at Kingman Regional. Medicare is a large portion of KRMC reimbursement, and they decide how much they will reimburse, and patient satisfaction now dictates much of how Medicare decides that, so the hospital invests in quality employees so that patient satisfaction remains high. In regards to the HMMC purchase, you may find that KRMC had good reason to purchase that facility, whether they use it immediately or not.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

Simple really, KRMC is a so called Non-Profit. Their "Board" doesn't concern themselves with making money, As a result they pay their doctors way more than they are worth on the open market....one of the reasons Hualapi Mountain Medical Center failed had to do with them being a for profit hospital. They had a Board of Directors that demanded a return on their investment....they couldn't produce so they went out of business..... And then KRMC bought their facility for millions, and are not making a dime with this multi-million dollar investment over a year later. Anyplace else in the country and this would be an outrage, even for a non profit, a Board would be replaced, a CEO and his Management Team would be fired.....but not in Kingman.....If the Kingman Daily Miner wants to do some real reporting they might have a look at the KRMC books, and Board meeting minutes. After all, the story KRMC likes to tell is they are a community owned medical center......has the community ever taken a look at how the Board and Management Team are doing their jobs....I think not.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: biker randy

Yeah, Mr. Editor, give Obama a pass. It's not his fault in 3 years, 9 months nothing has improved in the economy even tho since he took office the country is now 5 TRILLION $s deeper in debt with absolutely nothing to show for it !!! That's why he was voted into office, so he could bankrupt all of us and for no other reason. Let's give him another 4 more years when he will still blame Bush for his incompetence..

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: David Gaither

Unnecessary Politics wrote:

"In any case, since you brought it up, you don't happen to remember a certain previous president named George, do you?"

How could we forget him?? That's the only thing you Obama supporters have to explain away Obama's ineptitude as a US President!

Do you remember Jimmy Carter? I swear Jimmy must have been Obama's mentor.


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: Unnecessary Politics

Mr. Thurlow, you had a good column going, and, surprisingly, without even any snide remarks about the president. But then, sure enough, there was the inevitable gratuitous mention of "this Obameconomy" at the end. Can't there be even one topic, such as jobs in Kingman, that we can all agree on without injecting partisan politics?

In any case, since you brought it up, you don't happen to remember a certain previous president named George, do you? I can't quite remember his last name, but I do remember something about some sort of economic crash that happened during his last year in office. Just wondering.


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: Mr. Editor, Please Strive to Build a More Professional Paper by Being More Professional

Well once again a poorly researched article from KDM's editor. What about the math and reading skills necessary to handle these jobs? I think if the good editor would have interviewed any of the mentors responsible for training the interns at Laron's they would say many of the applicants just don't have the basic skills. Unfortunately, I suspect this may be the case for our country at large - once again something the article could have detailed. Also Mr. Editor, it is really not very professional to call a deep recession that started February of 2008 a derogatory term that insults our president.

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: David Gaither

I think where your message goes wrong, is in comparing manufacturing to the healthcare industry. Manufacturing has to be concerned about all the expenses that go into the final price ot their product. Too much in labor and benefit costs and they won't be able to sell their products. Low sales and you're out of business!

The healthcare field, on the other hand, seems to be unchecked in the price of their product. We all need healthcare at some time and we don't shop for the cheapest service. So, of course they can pay better wages and attract good employees.


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: justanobody sr

The answer is simple, it's MONEY, the hospital pays well and has great benefits!.
Few jobs in Kingman pay above minimum wage, and have benefits.
Kingman has some successful business owners, Yet most incomes in Kingman are very near the poverty level.
The old adage "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" still applies!


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Arizona Republic just posted this article on median Arizona income is $34,000! I guess I ought to be glad since I am in the $49,000 to $50,000 range, but much like the Romney comment on middle class is $200,000 to $250,000 sounded good when one read it but when one reads that only 4% of Americans fit the category its less impressive! I think the best thing I have ever read is that 98% of all Americans are a mere two pay, dividend, pension, annuity checks away from homelessness and poverty unlike the 2% who never have to worry about that prospect!
http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/20120821arizona-workers-wages-flat.html

Ps. I think worrying about what ifs is useless, life is always a series of unpredictable events!


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Your article seemed intelligent till you dropped to the gutter with the creation of your Obamaeconomy word, did they teach you how to create your own language in school? I don't might mind folks disagreeing with political views by the gutter language, code xenophobic words folks use do seem to show more than those using them realize!

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: recent KRMC hire

While I am not a radiologist, I am a recent KRMC hire. The reason I was willing to make a substantial move to work here was because KRMC pays well, they pay driving mileage if you are traveling and or not ready to move to Kingman, and they pay lodging for the day's you work. There are many other decent perks I am not mentioning, but simply put, KRMC makes it easy for someone to work at their facility.



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