A lightning rod in the political world is immigration but less so in the business world. In the lower middle market every one of our portfolio companies is looking for qualified workers who can pass a drug test, and perform entry level work. I am not sure why Americans do not want these jobs? They come with benefits and hourly pay that is substantially greater than minimum wage. Maybe unemployment compensation, or food stamps, or workers compensation, or any other safety net work replacement is crowding out the number of citizens who really want a 40-hour work week? What happened to the dignity of work?
I cannot understand why President Trump wants to keep young immigrants who are not likely terrorists out of our country? I also cannot support the Democrat’s idea of supporting only immigration policies that lead to Democrats being elected. These political positions on both sides virtually ensure that robots will replace people, and entry level jobs will disappear. Making immigration a political issue rather than a business and lifestyle issue is a huge mistake. Here is a census of our window company work force:
These immigrants are not stealing American jobs. Portland, Maine has a 2% unemployment rate. The truth is Americans do not want to work as hard as the Somalis, Serbs and Croats who came from nothing and are thrilled to be working 40 hours a week with benefits. Many of our employees commute 2 hours a day for the privilege of working in our Portland, Maine window factory.
Another endorsement for immigration comes from a consultant we are using who specializes in manufacturing processes for window industry, and has been involved in hundreds of different manufacturing situations. He thinks our factory in Portland, Maine is one of the most productive and well managed in the country. We have our own comparison with a similar window operation in Ohio where the opioid epidemic is real problem. We simply cannot recruit a sustainable workforce, even though there is a strong supply of skilled automotive workers.
If we permit immigration to exist as a transcendent political issue we will have missed the chance to sustain America’s greatness through the marvel of our business world. The resulting diversity and ambitions of immigrants will be necessary to compete in an international business order that will reward innovation and a trained work force.
Source: PE4Fams feed