Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Higher Learning

Most of the opposition to Wal-Mart seems to originate with WSU faculty or students. It would be easy to get the impression that the majority feel that way. But I'm happy to report that is not the case.

In a letter to the editor of The Moscow-Pullman Daily News published yesterday, Carroll Hayden, who is a retired staff member from the ASWSU Outdoor Recreation Center, has this to say:
Pullman is a unique, small-town community with a university student enrollment that is more than twice the permanent resident population. Consequently, there is a tremendous need for part-time employment for those 18,000-plus Washington State University students.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter would provide an excellent opportunity for part-time employment for high school students, WSU students and area citizenry, as approximately 100 job positions will be available for part-time employment.

Since Pullman is a very limited part-time employee market, these additional employment opportunities are a crucial community necessity, with increased enrollments and rising educational expenses for students attending our beloved university. WSU students have access to campus medical insurance so they would not need employer insurance coverage. Indeed, Wal-Mart seems like a great mesh with our transient student population.

Washington state's minimum wage is currently the highest in the country. At $7.35 an hour a 15-hour work week would provide a monthly income of nearly $450 which would certainly help part-time employee students pay the rent or purchase textbooks.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter also could provide an educational retail laboratory for practicum and internship experiences for WSU College of Business and Economics students.

Wal-Mart has the potential for being a prominent university educational partner as well as a welcome source of retail-career hands-on training for many deserving students.

Our small-town neighbor has definitely survived the national-chain encroachment since there are significantly fewer vacancies in Moscow's downtown business area with their Wal-Mart and Palouse Mall businesses than in Pullman.

So let's roll out the Pullman red carpet for the Wal-Mart Supercenter to stimulate Pullman business.

Check out the architectural rendering at Pullman City Hall or the Pullman Chamber of Commerce. This attractive "big box" should complement its Safeway neighbor.
I couldn't have put it better myself! If the people that cared for Pullman really knew how hard it is to get ANY businesses to locate here, EVERYONE in town would be rolling out the red carpet instead of the duct tape.

No comments: