Unemployment has plagued the north country for years. Over the last two years, the unemployment rate of St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties has only risen.

The novel coronavirus has brought even more uncertainty to the north country. Unemployment skyrocketed to double digits. The tourists who bustled through our quaint towns now stay on the north side of the border.

The coming months, and potentially years, will bring a new form of commerce and with it a focus on virtual employment. Residents of the north country want to work and businesses want to hire. But without a plan to address this new reality, many of our neighbors will be forced to brave the waning months of this pandemic without job security.

I’m a lifelong independent, and I vote for the person, not the party. Alex Hammond has a plan, and he tells it like it is. He will align with the majority in the state Assembly, ensuring that the north country receives the tax dollars it is owed.

He will bring businesses to the coronavirus relief negotiating table with the state and the federal government. Once he brings money into the community, Alex Hammond will invest in our workforce.

Job placement programs are Alex’s silver bullet to the uncertainty and fear that our workforces and businesses will face. Alex Hammond will work with the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services to ensure that our unemployed neighbors are trained and placed in our district’s small businesses. If you are a career restaurant worker or hairstylist and capacity restrictions forced your employer to close, Alex Hammond will make sure you do not have to depend on dwindling unemployment benefits.

As a business owner, I am concerned with the strength of our workforce and our local economy. The coronavirus has brought fear to our employees, who are reasonably uncomfortable about going to work every day. A weak economy would make our customers hesitant to spend.

Alex Hammond has a plan to keep people working and make our local economy strong. That is why I have endorsed him for the state Assembly.

Visit hammond4ny.com to read more about Alex Hammond and his economic plan.

Aaron Smith

Ogdensburg

The writer is owner of the Ogdensburg Bowl.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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