Sometimes you just get lucky

Our City
by Mayor Marc Beitia
Sometimes you just get lucky. Maybe not as often as we would like, but sometimes it just happens. Most of the time though those of us that tend to believe in the mystical thing like luck tend to do what we can to improve the odds of luck happening. “You make your own luck,” is a common enough phrase, yet I believe to a large degree it is true. Do good things happen just out of the blue? Of course they do; but, then so do things that are less than favorable.
What we do to make our own luck matters; as an individual and a community.
Our street department was down two fulltime employees for nearly four months, but then three weeks ago things started to look up. Like many things those on the other side of the fence can often look better than they really are. One may venture over only to be disillusioned and find he really needs to get back to where he was. Sometimes that is even possible.
Welcome back Abel Aguilar, we are glad to have you.
At the same time Aguilar had reapplied for a position at the city so did a former student of mine: Mitch Deagle, a fairly recent graduate from American Falls High School. Following an inspiration he had picked up during high school or perhaps earlier on in life, he decided to attend the Idaho State College of Technology and get a degree in diesel mechanics. Many of my students have followed that or a similar path. After working in the industry for about a year Deagle found he wanted to work closer to home.
As luck would have it we have long been looking for someone with his exact skill set. His background and willingness to learn made him a perfect fit. During our interview I asked him what made him want to live in American Falls when with his skill set he could find work most anywhere. His response sounded, personally, very familiar, “I love the community and I can be fishing within five minutes after work. What’s not to like?”
I would like to think I had some influence on the career path that Deagle chose but I didn’t; he graduated before the agricultural advisory committee started in earnest the “Grow Our Own” campaign. We never targeted individual students for long-term employment. Those that chose to stay and work in our community may have initially done so by happenstance or blind luck.
This last Wednesday at American Falls High School we held our second annual career day in a continued effort to make our own luck. The purpose of the career day is to provide students with the opportunity to explore real careers close to home in which they have an interest and extend that opportunity to one-on-one conversations with professionals in that career. Students learn the technical skills and education required within a profession, the working conditions therein, the wages associated and the opportunities for advancement.
Many of this year’s 70-plus presenters are graduates of American Falls, Aberdeen, Rockland, Highland, Pocatello or Century high schools. We lose too many of our best students and potential employees because they don’t see a future for themselves here at home. We need to change that perception.
The consensus from the students, potential employers and teachers is we are doing that. Time will tell if this and other similar efforts through the agriculture program and others will make a long-term difference in the vast employee shortage in so many of our established and emerging businesses and their associated occupations.
Many in our community, like me, would prefer to make their own luck than leave it to happenstance. Like so many things, what we do together as a community will determine the future of many. That we chose to do so much together in a common effort leaves me borrowing Mitch Deagle’s words, “What’s not to like.” Just another reason American Falls is the best place to live.
Until next week…

Thanks for reading!

Read more in this week's print edition.Subscribe Today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *