What do you do when your campaign promise turns out to be an openly-mocked example of bad sloganeering?

Mayor Fischer, waving “goodbye” as citizens flee city.

If you’re Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, you pimp out free* training for moving van careers to a desperate, job-starved citizenry.

Last week, Fischer’s office fired off a press release (complete with the use of the phrase “synergistic opportunity”) about the Registered American Moving Professionals (RAMP) certification program. In it, various economic development officials are quoted and high praise is showered upon the industry.

Claims of high pay and job security are touted for graduates of the program, which is being presented by a partnership between KentuckianaWorks, the American Moving and Storage Association and Jefferson Community and Technical College through a federal grant.

National moving van companies that choose to participate in the RAMP program promise to hire from the pool of graduates.

There is nothing wrong with a government that tries to help people find work if they want a job.

But riddle me this: Exactly who is doing the moving around here?

The only people we know who are moving are moving away from Louisville to find work, and they sure as hell aren’t ringing up A. Arnold and Son to pack the futon.

With no mass influx of young professionals on the horizon, it looks like the moving companies have only managed to use federal money as a training program for prospective employees – training that would otherwise be paid for by the company and result in actual wages for the workers.

And what if you were lucky enough to get into the training program, qualify for a scholarship that allows you to get it for free, graduate, get a Commercial Drivers License and get hired by one of the participating moving companies?

You pack up your own stuff and stay on the road for weeks at a time (90 to 100 percent of your time is spent away from Louisville), spending your money in other cities and helping to stimulate their economy! Worried you might miss your old lady at home? No worries. Take her with you! “Husband-and-wife teams” are encouraged to apply!

Something else to consider is the number of available jobs. No one is revealing that little nugget of information. A quick career search for driving jobs with the major moving companies participating in the RAMP program turned up two (2) driving jobs nationwide. Both had salaries well below the advertised amount in the Fischer release.

On the other side of this double-headed coin is Kentucky Trailer. Company President Gary A. Smith Sr. says moving van companies will need trailers for all of this alleged moving that is set to occur, and – according to him – Kentucky Trailer will be building them.

Smith says of RAMP: “It’s two scoops of economic good fortune wrapped up in a single program.”

I’m pretty sure we all know what the RAMP program is “two scoops of..”, and it isn’t ice cream.

Maybe Fischer’s “Jobs, jobs, jobs” really meant you would need three jobs to equal the one you lost.

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* This “free training” isn’t really free. “Free training” applies only to those who are selected for a “scholarship.” Details of who may qualify remain unknown at this time. You may periodically check the KentuckianaWorks site to see if the information is added.

    Brian Tucker is a lifelong Louisvillian. He is the founder of The Valley Report, and has been writing on Southwest Louisville's political environment for several years.


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