A Competent Government Employee Takes on a Character Attack
Monday, October 14, 2013 • 6:12pm
I thank Mr. Lucas Nooter on his letter, noting that I was attacked by Mr. Space for being a Government Employee. That fact is that I was a college instructor simultaneously for 14 years of my employment in government. In my life, I unloaded Chrysler mufflers off railroad trains in North Bergen, worked in a hardware store in Palisades Park, worked for Sears in two locales, worked at the Meadowlands during football, race track, and hockey and basketball games for a period of my life, selling product and providing some security, and worked at Prentice Hall, a publishing company pulling pallets to pay for my Bachelor, Masters’ Degrees, an ABD, PhD, and other education certificates.
Let us get to the point; I was never an ordinary government worker. At DuPont across from the State of Delaware, I worked with two unions, and management to merge the training program for each union in order to bring in new apprentices. After careful statistical analyses on my own computer with my own statistical software; I found that there was only a 25 percent differential in the skills of the journeymen in the two unions, and with that I suggested a new pattern of an apprenticeship for those two unions, and management.
Management, no longer had to hire outside contractors, who charged too much for their electrical and instrument repairs, and with the Herculean efforts of those in-house Instrument Techs and Electricians along with Management-Steve Crawley-, and we created a new apprenticeship model that had repercussions all the way up the Delaware to Mars Candy Company, and across the country. I have worked on barges at night in Cumberland County to develop literacy measures for Silica workers, outside the Holland Tunnel to develop training for Electricians with Path on third shift, worked at the original casinos to benchmark skills, and to create a fair hiring tests for their various occupations, and for their training needs analyses, carried out on my own.
I won have the Leadership Award along with current Assistant Commissioner of Labor Jeff Stohlar for our efforts to help industry in New Jersey. Not too many years ago, Ocean Spray sent its Vice President to thank me at an event at Centenary College for my efforts to help increase productivity at the now closed Bordentown facility. Our help for Ocean Spray included a trip to Cape Cod via my car with former State Employee Tom Grant to look at new packaging for their juice boxes, which we did observation interviews to bring that equipment and knowledge to the New Jersey facility.
I did nationally public studies on students and workers that had national ramifications. I was part of an effort save New Jersey’s Glass Industry in South Jersey. I worked to benchmark skills at race tracks, including the Meadowlands, and created assessment measures for every union in the state, except the IBEW where I administered their tests for more than a decade. I also developed tests for Senator Sweeney’s Iron Workers Union. I was once sent to Kodak in Rochester to save a division in Fair Lawn. I also developed training curricula for AMTRAK’s Acela, the nation’s now old high speed rail consumer rail line to DC, and sent 900 workers at 5 Rutgers Campuses to school for skill upgrades.
As an Administrator here in Sussex, I gave help to small businesses, worked with the Chamber of Commerce on issues that impacted local businesses, paying out-of-pocket for the pleasure and the need, and was often reprimanded in Trenton for the commonsense membership.
I was on seven non-profit boards that directly impacted seniors, the poor, the disabled, and the forgotten, while an Administrator here. As an Administrator, I ran toy drives, coat drives, food drives, got people heat, struggled to get people eats, and kept electric on in homes when my friends, neighbors, and strangers needed help. I closed a shirt factory in Franklin, and made two workers peer counselors, as it was the best way to view needs of the workers at Custom Shirt.
I gave ties off my shirt and neck, even bought job seekers shirts, and did whatever it took to get people jobs. I paid for everything that I did out-of-pocket, not looking for a windfall, but to help to keep someone going. The night a diner burned down in Wantage, I had taken a man with no food, no water, no electric and other issues impacting his wife to that diner to eat. I helped the unknown and the forgotten, and some born of elites. I never judged, and I was not giving handouts, but hands up!
I had a calling to serve from John F. Kennedy, who visited an armory in Teaneck long ago. I interned briefly for a congressman, who served the people well in East Bergen County, and I worked briefly in the Campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. The life of working in Government was instilled in reading about Theodore Roosevelt, who cleaned up Civil Service in NYC, and showed the pride of workers that do care. Anyone from a factory floor-whether management or labor- or a person in trouble or in debt, or facing any issue had an ear, and a heart from me.
Mr. Space, runs a family zoo in Sussex, and because of my dad’s death, I ran a bar on Route 1 and 9 (Broad Ave. in Ridgefield), while living in Sussex County, and commuting to Trenton. I often had to take keys off people, drive them home, and feed them, if they were alone and so many other functions. Trying to reason with a drunk may be less of an issue than a bear, but to demean state and federal workers is a mistake. I had high mathematical skills, and I have been published in a number of venues, and I could have made more money in life, but I chose government, because I could make a difference- and I did with all types of businesses and individuals!
Do not mess, with Bill! Mr. Space, leave the stereotypes out!
Bill Weightman, Hardyston, NJ