Wednesday, January 24

Jobless Miss Jones, Action News Jax Explain Joblessness Situation

"I think the city's lacking a lot of jobs right now. We have a lot of jobs in one industry or the other."

In a story on Action News Jax discussing the city's desire to bring in a new company that would potentially create 800 jobs, the above quote was used to reinforce something or the other. The interviewee, Kallie or Mindy or Kitty Jones, seemed to agree that Jax needs a new company in town--Project Volt.

Except I don't even know what she was saying. Perhaps she believes there are already plenty of jobs in one industry or the other. Of course, Action News Jax, being a real news outlet, presented a second quote in the story, and it was... Miss Jones again, saying the exact same thing. I've seen it before on this news station, but when the quote doesn't even add to the story, I just fail to understand the technique. Perhaps Kevin Clark has a new special lady?

I'd seen another story about Project Volt a couple of weeks earlier, wherein an unemployed woman was giddy about the prospect of 800 high-paying jobs coming to Jacksonville. Of course, there was no evidence she would be qualified to land one of those jobs.

But it got me wondering if Action News Jax goes to the local unemployment office each time there's a news story about jobs. They probably have to go there to find someone excited about new jobs, since our unemployment rate is a mere 3.6%. It also got me wondering about objectivity on this one. Does everyone agree with the $25 million cost to taxpayers? Is this one of the companies recently bailed out by a tariff on solar imports? And what effect will the estimated 10-15% decrease in solar installations because of the tariffs have on this company? Mostly, I wonder why a Chinese solar manufacturer wants to pay over $40,000 a year to Americans to watch Chinese-made solar panels come into their facilities. Instead, I get the same quote twice.

A subsequent story talked about someone else's news release that said employee confidence is high, unemployment is low, and there are all kinds of jobs that can't be filled. I mean, really, if you're going to feed us a feel-good story with no reporting about new jobs that we obviously need, then why follow it up with this report? The news about the tariffs on foreign solar panels would have been a much more compelling story, and I read an article about that on the same day. Or, how about investigating which company is behind all this? Doesn't the public want to know the history of this "international manufacturer of solar panels and modules"? Without a crack staff of reporters, I'll guess it's one of these companies or a subsidiary:
2017 Rank Company Headquarters
1 JinkoSolar China
2 Trina Solar China
3 Canadian Solar Canada
4 JA Solar China
5 Hanwha Q CELLS South Korea
6 GCL-SI Hong Kong
7 LONGi Solar China
8 Risen Energy China
9 Shunfeng China
10 Yingli Green China
After searching specifically for "JinkoSolar Jacksonville," it seems that several newsy sources think it's the one. If it is, there IS a history that Jax citizens might want to know before we all get excited about all the jobs.

Also, here's a version of the story I watched.

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