TVA’S link to 40 deaths and counting
Can Tennessee workers keep up with automation?
In response to the Viewpoint article on 2-8-2019: Can Tennessee workers keep up with automation in factories?
Yes, Tennessee workers can and should keep up with automation in factories, with adequate training for citizens of all areas of the state, not just rural areas. It mentions Gov. Bill Lee’s recent announcement of his first legislative priority revolved around technical and vocational education as a significant step in moving the needle. His first executive order involved accelerating and increasing economic development and opportunities in Tennessee’s rural communities. It also states even Tennessee’s biggest cities are in the bottom third when compared to 100 largest metro areas.
Although the cities are at less risk than rural areas, to move the needle forward, it seems imperative to include the biggest cities that lag behind as a priority. We should not lag this far behind at embracing growth and technology. The advancement of technology did not sneak up on us. We watched and continued to watch it unfold without taking actions to prepare our workforce. This is a tremendous failure of those we have trusted to legislate. We must acknowledge that due to their failure, whether it be their disinterest in prioritizing funding education, or whatever the case may be, this is a disadvantage to all citizens of Tennessee, and efforts should be made sooner than later to correct this neglected problem in our state.
Hopefully, our elected politicians will begin to see the light and work toward putting actions in place to prepare Tennessee’s workforce as a whole, so that we can become more competitive as we attempt to attract companies to our state.
Sharon Jones, Memphis
The appalling results of TVA’S and Jacobs Engineering’s so-called coal ash clean up at the Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant are that 40 innocent workers have died and hundreds are poisoned. The Feb 5. Commercial Appeal’s article provided a scathing report of complicity and a “trail of evidence” that indicates a callous disregard for workers’ safety. Having worked in safety-related industry positions, I am aware of the vital importance to have a thorough knowledge of protecting people and our environment from hazardous substance exposure. It is inconceivable to assume these two behemoth organizations did not have this awareness.
Until we hold all responsible parties accountable, for this heinous lack of humanity, we should expect more of the same. TVA is our “public utility” but does not provide transparency to their closed-door decision processes. This travesty makes one worry about corrupt, back room deals and payoffs. Many thanks to Congressmen Tim Burchett and Steve Cohen who are demanding answers to TVA President Bill Johnson (annual salary of $8 million). For the families, survivors and everyone’s sake, I sincerely hope all guilty parties will be brought to justice.
Vaughan Dewar, Memphis
David Waters will be missed
Wow! David Waters says farewell. David reached out to the entire community and had opinion columns from all sides. He shall be missed.
Mark Stansbury, Marks, Tennessee Email letters to let[email protected]mercialappeal.com; mail Letters to the Editor, The Commercial Appeal, 495 Union, Memphis, TN 38103; or click on the “Submit Letter” link on the Opinion page atcommercialappeal.com.