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Local Editorials

Why can’t it ever play out like it does in my head?

It never plays out like it does in your head. Ever. I wish it did, though.

Especially this week.

Several months ago, when the Daily News took up a leadership role alongside the Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce and Newton Development Corporation to promote Skilled Iowa in Newton, we talked about having a fun National Career Readiness Certificate testing day (to learn more about the NCRC, see the story on today’s front page). We were going to promote the “big names” in town who would be taking the test, and we were all going to go head-to-head to see who could score the highest.

Like I said, it never works out like it does in your head. If it did, I would need a cape, some sunglasses and “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Oh, and a microphone.

Can’t forget the microphone.

Anyway, it would play out something like this ... 

Mean Gene would start out, addressing the camera, telling the world that guys like Chaz Allen, Steve Long, Bryan Friedman and Bob Knabel aren’t signed up to take the NCRC test this week. I would stroll in from camera left and stand a half-step behind Gene’s right shoulder and look menacingly at the camera (through my sunglasses — at least as menacingly as one can when wearing a cape) as he asked me for my reaction.

I would then go into my best All-Star Wrestling-inspired monologue, throw down some smack, and just as I was about to reach the cresendo of my speech — WHAM!!!

I’d get a folding chair to the head.

Still, one of these days, I’d love to be able to do the whole, “So, what do you think about [fill in the blank]?” And just as the other party is about to answer, in my best impersonation of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, yell, “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!”

I’d especially love to lay one of those out for a politician. I mean, seriously ... 

Sorry, it’s the ADHD again.

As much as I’d love to see some more of our community leaders taking the test this week, I also understand the immense scheduling challenges they face. I’m going to have to “work ahead” on my usual morning production work to free myself up for the three hours it will take to complete the test.

For those of you looking to improve your ability to get a high-paying job, however, three hours is time well invested. And, what’s good for the rest of you is good for the rest of us.

When you make more money, you’re probably going to buy a better home. You’re probably going to buy better stuff to put inside said better home. And, you’re probably going to buy a better car or truck (or both) to park out front.

All of that purchasing does two things that help those around you: 1) the spending, especially when it’s done locally, injects money into the local economy that will roll over up to eight times; and 2) that spending creates additional tax revenue for the state and local governmental bodies, which can be used for better roads, better schools and better infrastructure.

For those who have been struggling to find work over the last few years, this can also mean less need for government entitlements, which reduces government’s burden on taxpayers. It also places less strain on other social services provided by area nonprofit agencies.

That’s why it’s important to all of us to take a more active role in the Skilled Iowa program. That’s why it’s important to encourage everyone to take part in the NCRC testing program offered through DMACC’s Newton campus.

• • •

If you’re reading this, thank a teacher. If you’re reading this in English, thank a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

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