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CU - Bloomsburg News & Politics

Job Security Becomes Downtrodden for Upstanding Workers

George Richer drinks a cup of coffee at 7 a.m. on a Monday morning before work.  Following his usual routine, he reads the newspaper and gets ready for work while thinking about what he has to do today: drive 20 minutes to work, where he is an inside sales representative for EMTEC, pricing and researching computer components for outside sales representatives.  He’ll leave work at approximately 3 p.m. and return home in time to coach his youngest daughter and son in soccer.  “A typical day,” he thinks, until he arrives at work.

Richer has worked at EMTEC in Marlton, New Jersey, for 13 years, and he considers himself a valuable employee because of his experience.  When he arrives at work this Monday morning, though, he is told his job will be relocating some of its employees, and he is one of them.  The new location is in Springfield, New Jersey, a two-hour commute from his home in Shamong, New Jersey.  This would mean a total of 800 miles a week spent commuting to work, and no longer coaching his son and daughter.

“I couldn’t afford to buy an apartment in North Jersey to live during the work week, and even if I could afford it, I wouldn’t want it.  My biggest concern, of course, is for my family,” Richer said. “I have a daughter who graduated a year ago from Rutgers University still living at home, a 21-year-old son at home, a 16-year-old son, and 13-year old-daughter, and then of course my wife.  You like to think at 52 years of age that you have a stable job. I have a family vacation in Vermont planned in January. The news didn’t arrive at an opportune time.”

EMTEC was firing and relocating many of their employees due to the slowing economy. “It wasn’t worth it for me to relocate to the office in Springfield,” Richer said. “My real pleasure with this job is having the ability to leave at 3 p.m. and get home and watch my kids do what they love.  I like to be able to take part in what is going on with my family.  I look forward to seeing my older son and daughter come home from work and talk to them about what is going on in their lives.”

Richer declined the new job location, and in turn lost his job with EMTEC.  Luckily, he was recently hired for a position as an inside sales representatibe at Clearswift in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.  Clearswift is the world’s leading provider of content security software for email and the web.  He started at his new position on Monday, December 1, 2008.

“My new job at Clearswift will be identical to what I was doing for EMTEC,” Richer said. “But it will be a new experience with different employees and a different boss.  I consider my family and myself lucky that I found a new job so quickly, especially at my age.  I lucked out this time. I worry for the other employees at EMTEC who were laid off and have not yet found a replacement job.”