Decades of working for same<BR>firm now rare as hen's teeth
Years ago, Americans used to spend their entire work lives at big, paternalistic companies that rewarded them with decent wages, job security and generous pensions when they retired.
Those days apparently began to disappear in 1971 when major aerospace companies laid off thousands of engineers, some just shy of qualifying for pensions. Since then, corporations went through periods of major layoffs that continue to this day. The result is that few Americans now depend on major companies offering lifetime employment.
The continuing restructuring devastated employment in auto manufacturing, textiles and other fields. There are winners and losers. Meanwhile, demographic, lifestyle and other changes have created opportunities for new businesses and an entrepreneurial class to emerge. For instance, our home and work lives are getting more fast-paced and stressful, creating the need for professional organizers who get paid for trying to bring a sense of order. I wrote two stories last week on the relatively new occupation.
Business licenses issued by nearby municipalities can point to trends in a changing economy. A number of the businesses are conventional: retail stores, contractors, beauty shops, et al. However, others come across as being less mundane.
For instance, Chino Valley issued a business license in July to Certified Animal Therapies, which provides massage therapy to horses and dogs. The business section of the Courier last Sunday carried a story on equine massage therapist Jessica Schoumaker.
Vicky Fueyo, owner of Certified Animal Therapists, may be ahead of any trend. While relatively new to Chino Valley, she said she provided the service for horses and dogs for 15 years and has taught classes at the college level, including at Yavapai College.
"Why do I do that?" Fueyo asked rhetorically. "Because it is stressing a very large portion of their body, and it (massage) has the same benefits for animals as it does for people. It's detoxifying. It enhances performance. They are work and pleasure animals. It helps the animal relieve toxins. It establishes a bond between you and your animal."
Fueyo and Schoumaker are trying to establish a bond with their clients.
Local residents seeking to take the bold step of a career change may consult sources such as the Arizona Department of Economic Security, which posted a report online on employment trends from 1998 to 2008. You are welcome to browse through 223 pages online by logging on to http://www.de.state.az.us/links/economic/webpage/lmi/oc208rpt.pdf.
The changing economy also may have created opportunities for an ancient occupation: peddlers. Three weeks ago, a young woman approached me while I was pumping gas in a shopping center in Prescott Valley.
"Do you wear cologne?" she asked. Then, she offered to sell me cologne for supposedly 94 percent off. I politely turned her down, and she walked over to her next prospect.
Calls to Candice McElhaney, deputy town clerk, and Prescott Valley police Sgt. Art Askew confirmed my suspicions. McElhaney informed me that people peddling goods such as cologne and other products within the town must obtain a peddler's license from her office. Those seeking a license, good for a year, undergo background checks conducted by the police department.
The licenses provide descriptions of the peddler, including that person's age, vehicle make, and Social Security and license plate numbers, McElhaney said.
McElhaney and Askew advised residents approached by peddlers to ask to see that person's license.
"The best advice is to not buy from anybody who approaches you on a parking lot or street," Askew said. "Most of that stuff (that they sell) is knock-off stuff. It is fake or not the same (merchandise) that you would be buying from a name department store."
The age-old adage applies: "Buyer beware."
Contact the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org