Saturday, April 28, 2007

Six years of frustration are at an end - I'm moving

It wasn't a secret, but I'm finding out that grapevine isn't keeping everyone informed well enough. My family (including me) is moving to Corvallis, OR in July or August.

Why move from the center of the universe? There are two reasons, my wife loves the west and Carbondale is a dead end for my kind of business. When you stack those issues on top of my Father's retirement and my Grandmother's death, the things that kept us here aren't in place anymore.

I have written about this before, but to summarize the problems we have doing business development in Carbondale is fairly easy - there are no people with experience to hire or start companies (the total absence of 30 to 50 year olds is the key). Our employment base of new college grads doesn't work well for factory work, that isn't the kid's path, so that is a problem too.

For six years I worked hard to do business development in Southern Illinois. I have tried a variety of things, each of which was a failure. It is time to do something else.

Of course, your comments are welcome.


sandra said...

Two things:

1) I truly appreciate your blog, what a loss.

2) Thank you for synthesizing and articulating a feeling I just couldn't put into words. When I think about my own future prospects after grad school, I have always thought that carbondale is not a bad place to live, the community is great, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other places I've lived in, it's diverse, etc. However, something never let me entirely land that idea. I think it is precisely the age factor you point to. For people my age (I'm 34) it's difficult to find age appropriate venues or places to meet "adult" conversational partners in Cabondale. I have often had this discussion with others who come to SIU and eventually leave because they feel "out of place" (I would even argue that the faculty turn-around rate in some departments at SIU is pretty high for the same reason).
Anyway, finding your blog was a sort of "blessing" where I felt I could speak and communicate with people my own age.

Sad to see it go, but happy it's for your own betterment.

Peter in Carbondale said...

I think there is a reality about the idea of a SIU grad living here that sinks in early, there is no work and so I can't stay.

When you try to recruit from the big city to being in senior talent, they ask where would I work when this company goes BK? The answer is, you are moving. There are very few good jobs. Though, it seems like the programmers who are working for me now, can get other jobs in the area. I'm not sure they can get the same money, but maybe they can?

My big moment was when I realized that the trained people I was losing from my little company, that I wanted to keep, were leaving because their girlfriends couldn't get a reasonable job. That really sucks.

I have been very happy here. I have lots of good friends here, far more then I left in Seattle after living there twice as long. I was happy here and I will be happy there too.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.

dave said...

Peter, you will be missed. But you still have a few more months here, so let's keep trying to make C'dale better -- one blog at a time. ;-)

cynical prof said...

Sometimes I've felt you're an opinonated ass-with-long-ears, but I'll still miss your blog.

Live happy!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for all the help!


Anonymous said...

Carbondale is a dying city. I have never seen a worse business climate. I *have* seen worse property taxes, but never so high in combination with such a dead economy.

And…it is going to get worse before it gets better.

I say “Shake the dust from your sandals...”

Fraydog said...

Peter, it could be worse. You could live in Chester.

Peter in Carbondale said...

I think that Carbondale is a great place to live. I don't think the business community is dieing, it is just focused on service. I agree, Chester is worse. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that the area has many things going for it, but alas, a viable economic foundation is not one of them,... not given the horrendous labor reputation, relatively high property taxes, as well as a university that takes much more than it gives.

The businesses that do exist are focused on service, not out of some thoughtful strategy. It is not as if their are all kinds of light manufacturing entrepreneurs chomping at the bit to move into the area. What you see is simply the services needed to support the anemic university customer base.

Anonymous said...

Peter, it was a breath of fresh air for this old Salukie to find your blog. politically I tend to be an Oakeshott conservative to your market centered libralism. Not a bad combination as a whole. One of my old Profs, Mack the Knife (Dr MacKensy of Education Foundations) said never stay in the same place for more than five years. He was right. Carbondale in ones rear view mirror is a moment in time that marks change from something that once existed for a fleeting moment, to be remembered always, but only as a springboard to reality. Good luck Peter, in whatever you do next.