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Is anyone staying?

STXjill
April 21, 2012 07:14PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 188

It's a sad time with Hovensa closing, and hard to know what to expect. I'm very curious, who is staying and who's leaving? We're gonna stay for as long as we can, we love living here ... What about you?

Re: Is anyone staying?

gringojj
April 21, 2012 09:44PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 228

Maybe I am crazy or just too much of an optimist, but I am coming......

Re: Is anyone staying?

susan56
April 22, 2012 12:25AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 121

We are leaving in a month.....bought tickets about 6 weeks ago....

Re: Is anyone staying?

jostvandog
April 22, 2012 01:51PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 159

Not going anywhere. This is now home. I have a great job, great friends and a great place to live. Gonna ride out the storm. It will get better.

Re: Is anyone staying?
avatar

Bombi
April 22, 2012 03:41PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 1,978

I'll stay as long as it's pleasant and still can keep my job although I have begun to consider a plan B. Maybe Miami if.....

Re: Is anyone staying?

Jamison
April 22, 2012 08:56PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 991

I'm not going anywhere. I get offered a ton of work and am happy here

Re: Is anyone staying?

DixieChick
April 23, 2012 07:03AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,478

alot of my friends are leaving. some hovensa and some not. wish we would. time to move on.

Re: Is anyone staying?

vicanuck
April 23, 2012 07:51AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 825

I'm not going anywhere...

Re: Is anyone staying?

IslandHops
April 23, 2012 08:41AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 600

The doom and gloom attitudes really piss me off. I hear a lot of over-hyping the possibility of unrest during these times of challenging economic uncertainty, and think what a load of bollocks. This does nothing to help the situation and, while we are losing some folks heading off to new jobs, it is no reason for wholesale abandonment. The folks who may be out of work are not going to suddenly become criminals overnight. They are responsible people who will do their best to find the next job. Opportunities grow out of adversity. And while there is a chance some nefarious types may use the closing as an excuse for increased activity, for the most part we are a solid society.

As I was driving along the other day I reminded myself how fortunate I am to live here. This is a beautiful island, full of quirks and quirk people. We have amazing weather, beautiful beaches, sprinkled with questionable governance. This is my home and I wouldn't even considering leaving. 8-)

Re: Is anyone staying?

JahRustyFerrari
April 23, 2012 08:42AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 178

On behalf of the 40,000 or so Crucians who call this place home and have seen much worse:

WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

To those of you who are leaving:

Happy trails. Find a place to make your stand and take it easy.

Re: Is anyone staying?

rmb2830
April 23, 2012 09:14AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 224

"have seen much worse..." not recently, I would think. Perhaps in the aftermath of the fountain valley incident...but I can't recall or think of any time since, when the economic situation on stx was as difficult as it may become in the next months/year. Not even so much the immediate impact of thet jobs lost, but the cumulative and trickle-down effect...we're hoping it won't be as bad as we are thinking; we'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Re: Is anyone staying?

OldTart
April 23, 2012 09:37AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,684

Quote
rmb2830
"have seen much worse..." not recently, I would think. Perhaps in the aftermath of the fountain valley incident...but I can't recall or think of any time since, when the economic situation on stx was as difficult as it may become in the next months/year. Not even so much the immediate impact of thet jobs lost, but the cumulative and trickle-down effect...we're hoping it won't be as bad as we are thinking; we'd be happy to be proven wrong.

I certainly wouldn't discount the consequences of and recovery from Hugo and Marilyn.

Re: Is anyone staying?

Neil
April 23, 2012 10:03AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 996

Quote
JahRustyFerrari
On behalf of the 40,000 or so Crucians who call this place home and have seen much worse:

WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

To those of you who are leaving:

Happy trails. Find a place to make your stand and take it easy.

Jah, I appreciate your spunk.
But I also had to wince at the double meaning of "We are not going anywhere".

I feel sorry for many of my Crucian friends and acquaintances who feel they are "not going anywhere" on island and need to move.

Some of you are already making plans to join family and friends who live in the states. This is not by choice. This is because your govt failed you, because of the times, and because you cannot find work in your profession without moving off island.

At UVI I met many young Crucians who planned on moving to the states after they graduated. This was before the Hovensa closing. It's a brain drain for sure and I expect the current situation will only accelerate that.

One native Crucian friend of mine moved to the states a few years ago, and most of his family has since joined him, including his aged mother who needs dialysis and his younger sister who is an RN and didn't like working at JFL in her specialty. He travels back to the island to check on their shuttered family home and visit relatives. He hopes one day to retire back there. He works in IT and is a UVI grad and couldn't find work on the island after graduation --years ago. He married a statesider and she can't stand the island. Says she feels like an outsider there and "likes air-conditioning." His brother did two years at UVI, still lives on island, and puts tires on cars for a living.

I wonder if there are any current STATS somewhere about emigration from the island.
I wonder if there will be any stats showing how many good paying jobs have been or will be lost.

Re: Is anyone staying?

OldTart
April 23, 2012 10:41AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,684

Quote
Neil
Some of you are already making plans to join family and friends who live in the states. This is not by choice. This is because your govt failed you, because of the times, and because you cannot find work in your profession without moving off island.

At UVI I met many young Crucians who planned on moving to the states after they graduated. This was before the Hovensa closing. It's a brain drain for sure and I expect the current situation will only accelerate that.

Unfortunately it's been thus for many, many years and is nothing new.

Re: Is anyone staying?

JahRustyFerrari
April 23, 2012 10:41AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 178

Quote
Neil
Quote
JahRustyFerrari
On behalf of the 40,000 or so Crucians who call this place home and have seen much worse:

WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

To those of you who are leaving:

Happy trails. Find a place to make your stand and take it easy.

Jah, I appreciate your spunk.
But I also had to wince at the double meaning of "We are not going anywhere".

I feel sorry for many of my Crucian friends and acquaintances who feel they are "not going anywhere" on island and need to move.

Some of you are already making plans to join family and friends who live in the states. This is not by choice. This is because your govt failed you, because of the times, and because you cannot find work in your profession without moving off island.

At UVI I met many young Crucians who planned on moving to the states after they graduated. This was before the Hovensa closing. It's a brain drain for sure and I expect the current situation will only accelerate that.

One native Crucian friend of mine moved to the states a few years ago, and most of his family has since joined him, including his aged mother who needs dialysis and his younger sister who is an RN and didn't like working at JFL in her specialty. He travels back to the island to check on their shuttered family home and visit relatives. He hopes one day to retire back there. He works in IT and is a UVI grad and couldn't find work on the island after graduation --years ago. He married a statesider and she can't stand the island. Says she feels like an outsider there and "likes air-conditioning." His brother did two years at UVI, still lives on island, and puts tires on cars for a living.

I wonder if there are any current STATS somewhere about emigration from the island.
I wonder if there will be any stats showing how many good paying jobs have been or will be lost.

Thanks, you make some excellent points.

We're not going anywhere, physically. Mentally is a different story. We see abundant opportunities for a revitalized St. Croix that is not dependent on one monolithic entity. We thank HESS/HOVENSA for all they've done, but we have moved on...it is a different time and place. We will not desert St. Croix, like so many lovers who used her and ran.

The unemployment rate for African-Americans is twice the national average. There are jobs to be had, sure, but there are also thousands of college-educated people on the US mainland who are working as tire-changers and WalMart greeters.

It is rough everywhere, thanks to the relocation of many American enterprises to China and India (does Made In China ring a bell?)
If you shop at WalMart you should not complain about the economy...sorry if that sounds harsh. The economic situation we are facing is a direct result of trade policies which benefit the elite 1%, and those of us who can only complain about such creature comforts as "air conditioning" are aiding and abetting our own destruction.

Two years at UVI will not get you anywhere in IT...you need industry certification from Cisco and Microsoft, for starters. There are jobs in software development for people with the proper credentials. If your friend wants to get into software development he needs a four-year degree and experience in Microsoft technologies such as .NET, and also Java, HTML5, SQL, JavaScript(for starters). If he doesn't want to do software, he needs to get a four-year degree AND industry certification from Cisco and Microsoft. Otherwise, he qualifies for tire-changing in this economy. He has to compete with thousands of well-qualified graduates from top-notch IT schools in India. It is a global economy. HOVENSA is closing because, for one thing, the Chinese are doing it better, cheaper, faster.

Like I said, find a place to make your stand and take it easy...we're in for a rough ride, and this is where I belong.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2012 11:04AM by JahRustyFerrari.

Re: Is anyone staying?

rmb2830
April 23, 2012 11:14AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 224

Quote
OldTart
Quote
rmb2830
"have seen much worse..." not recently, I would think. Perhaps in the aftermath of the fountain valley incident...but I can't recall or think of any time since, when the economic situation on stx was as difficult as it may become in the next months/year. Not even so much the immediate impact of thet jobs lost, but the cumulative and trickle-down effect...we're hoping it won't be as bad as we are thinking; we'd be happy to be proven wrong.

I certainly wouldn't discount the consequences of and recovery from Hugo and Marilyn.


OT, I think the situation is very different. (Not to take away from anyone (myself included) who lost their home, or job as a result of the storm.) Just think about it, within a couple months after Hugo and to a somewhat lesser degree after Marilyn on stx there was lots of relief and insurance money being spent on the island, plus federal money that was coming in. My experience is stx, but there was a ton of rental income being made by anyone who had a liveable rental.....tarps and no power and all. Adjusters, and FEMA, electric crews from the states, etc. Lots of folks had insurance and the companies who paid...mainly continental on stx...were generous with their settlements. SBA and such as well. Businesses certainly took a hit at first, to varying degrees, but then all the recovery folks were living on per diem and spending that money, which circulated through the island. Homeowners were rebuilding and some of the companies in the business of construction, building materials etc had the best years in the year or two after Hugo that they ever have. Sure lots of people left island, but folks came as well. It was a very hard time for anyone who lost everything, whether home, or job, or all, but the island as a whole was in a different place than what we forsee this time.--there is no extra or new money coming from anywhere unless some new project comes along. Where are new jobs going to come from? How many new businesses are going to open? What about the businesses that have been struggling for the past couple years? What happens as the government tax revenues continue to decrease? What if Home Depot and Kmart close? Where are the June 2012 high school and college grads going to look for jobs? We've already lost (next year) the American Eagle flights unrelated to Hovensa, what's next? I think it's going to be a hard life for alot of folks for who knows how long...and I don't think there are any easy fixes.

Re: Is anyone staying?

OldTart
April 23, 2012 11:46AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,684

I don't disagree with you at all and I don't think there's any easy fix either. I guess my point is that the challenges have always come in some form or another at different times but, as is the cyclical nature of the universe, things do eventually balance out for a while - until the next hurdle pops up.

But, as another poster said, the doom and gloom naysayers' prattlings don't help anything. I don't walk around with rose colored spectacles but having lived for quite some time now I do know that the bad times do inevitably give way to good times and there's little benefit in pissing and moaning during the lows. All you get from that is wrinkles and ulcers!

Re: Is anyone staying?

JahRustyFerrari
April 23, 2012 11:53AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 178

Quote
rmb2830
Quote
OldTart
Quote
rmb2830
"have seen much worse..." not recently, I would think. Perhaps in the aftermath of the fountain valley incident...but I can't recall or think of any time since, when the economic situation on stx was as difficult as it may become in the next months/year. Not even so much the immediate impact of thet jobs lost, but the cumulative and trickle-down effect...we're hoping it won't be as bad as we are thinking; we'd be happy to be proven wrong.

I certainly wouldn't discount the consequences of and recovery from Hugo and Marilyn.


OT, I think the situation is very different. (Not to take away from anyone (myself included) who lost their home, or job as a result of the storm.) Just think about it, within a couple months after Hugo and to a somewhat lesser degree after Marilyn on stx there was lots of relief and insurance money being spent on the island, plus federal money that was coming in. My experience is stx, but there was a ton of rental income being made by anyone who had a liveable rental.....tarps and no power and all. Adjusters, and FEMA, electric crews from the states, etc. Lots of folks had insurance and the companies who paid...mainly continental on stx...were generous with their settlements. SBA and such as well. Businesses certainly took a hit at first, to varying degrees, but then all the recovery folks were living on per diem and spending that money, which circulated through the island. Homeowners were rebuilding and some of the companies in the business of construction, building materials etc had the best years in the year or two after Hugo that they ever have. Sure lots of people left island, but folks came as well. It was a very hard time for anyone who lost everything, whether home, or job, or all, but the island as a whole was in a different place than what we forsee this time.--there is no extra or new money coming from anywhere unless some new project comes along. Where are new jobs going to come from? How many new businesses are going to open? What about the businesses that have been struggling for the past couple years? What happens as the government tax revenues continue to decrease? What if Home Depot and Kmart close? Where are the June 2012 high school and college grads going to look for jobs? We've already lost (next year) the American Eagle flights unrelated to Hovensa, what's next? I think it's going to be a hard life for alot of folks for who knows how long...and I don't think there are any easy fixes.

The US economy isn't exactly booming, and the situations you describe can apply to almost any district in the US, not just St. Croix. This, of course, does not minimize the impact on our local economy...but where do our newly unemployed go to find work?

There were 50,000 factories closed and 9 million jobs outsourced/off-shored since 1995/1996...this is the root cause of our current economic situation, while we happily shop for cheap air-conditioners at WalMart.

If KMart closes, there may be opportunities for Mom & Pop type general stores like we used to have. If Home Depot closes, we have our local hardware stores. Maybe the people who are currently "employees" of those businesses will see an opportunity to start a similar business themselves...impossible, you say? tell that to the Arab community, maybe we need to develop close-knit ties like that and do for ourselves instead of depending on "employers"...just saying.

Since 2002 corporate profits have doubled, matching their highest share of GDP ever in 2006. Yet government data show domestic investment growing more slowly than in any previous postwar recovery.

Therein lies the problem.

Re: Is anyone staying?

STXBob
April 23, 2012 02:59PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,808

Quote
JahRustyFerrari
Since 2002 corporate profits have doubled, matching their highest share of GDP ever in 2006. Yet government data show domestic investment growing more slowly than in any previous postwar recovery.

Businesses have the dough, but they won't grow (eg: hire people) until consumer demand increases. Consumer spending won't increase until people have more money (eg: jobs).

On the count of three, everybody start hiring and spending!!!

Re: Is anyone staying?

JahRustyFerrari
April 23, 2012 03:11PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 178

Quote
STXBob
Quote
JahRustyFerrari
Since 2002 corporate profits have doubled, matching their highest share of GDP ever in 2006. Yet government data show domestic investment growing more slowly than in any previous postwar recovery.

Businesses have the dough, but they won't grow (eg: hire people) until consumer demand increases. Consumer spending won't increase until people have more money (eg: jobs).

On the count of three, everybody start hiring and spending!!!

:D

Re: Is anyone staying?

noOne
April 23, 2012 05:41PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,476

Quote
OldTart
I certainly wouldn't discount the consequences of and recovery from Hugo and Marilyn.

I remember I became a roofer after Hugo hit. I also remember a lot of new people coming to STT to clean up.

Re: Is anyone staying?

OldTart
April 23, 2012 05:52PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,684

Quote
noOne
I remember I became a roofer after Hugo hit. I also remember a lot of new people coming to STT to clean up.

I learned how to rig a gravity-fed sun-warmed water system amongst other things after Marilyn which worked well for the almost six months I was without power! Loads of people left but thank goodness for those who came to help restore power and keep the hospital going. MRIs tasted pretty good! So many stories, so many memories.

Re: Is anyone staying?
avatar

meowruff
April 23, 2012 07:26PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 309

We're staying! We still have our jobs (teachers in the public school system), and know that there are always students to teach. We continue to try to make a difference - even if only a day at a time.

Re: Is anyone staying?

JahRustyFerrari
April 24, 2012 08:43AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 178

Quote
meowruff
We're staying! We still have our jobs (teachers in the public school system), and know that there are always students to teach. We continue to try to make a difference - even if only a day at a time.

Thank you, and thanks to all of the dedicated teaching professionals who continue to make a difference in this community on a daily basis.

:-)

Re: Is anyone staying?

Matt T
April 24, 2012 09:26AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 173

I hold dedicated teachers in higher regard than any other profession, organic farmers would be second on my list! Thanks for trying to make a difference meowruff!

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