Valuable trait

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, July 30, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

Having recently visited two companies that provide employment in Isle of Wight, I came away thankful for their presence. Both the International Paper Fluff Plant in our southern end and Green Mountain Coffee just outside Windsor offer hundreds of job opportunities within our county borders. Both management teams spoke proudly of achievements their companies had achieved recently in terms of production goals, safety and potential expansion plans.

When asked of their challenges and what we could do as a county to address them, such things as port congestion and transportation issues were mentioned. A recurring theme from both teams concerned hiring, training and retaining workers from a quality pool of applicants. The two words “work ethic” came to the forefront as probably the most sought-after trait among employees — more valuable, even, than competence.

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I relate all this to say that one of the more worthy virtues we can possess, teach and pass to the next generation is this thing called a good work ethic. It is simply the ability and determination to work intensely, honestly and diligently at a task because it is the right thing to do. It is arriving to work on time and in full control of our faculties. It is striving for excellence in all areas, whether sweeping floors, operating machinery or designing large projects. It is sometimes staying steady at mundane tasks under uncomfortable conditions. A good work ethic looks for ways of improvement and asks the right questions. It treats those beside you, above you and below you with the respect they are due as fellow human beings.

All this to say, let’s partner together through our families, schools, churches and other institutions to foster a character trait that will enhance the individual, enrich our communities and promote excellence throughout.

Rex Alphin
Board of Supervisors