A hiring manager for a Three Rivers factory made waves recently at a workforce development panel recently when he reportedly said he's hiring employees from Puerto Rico because people in St Joseph County don't want to work.

That's what was reported in a, since edited, Sturgis Journal article. Brian McDaniel who heads up human resources at American Axle, located along US 131 at the Rocky River,

said 30 percent of the company’sskilled trade workers are retirement-eligible.
Concern was expressed about how to get workers who are eligible and motivated, with the desire to go to work.
McDaniel noted that people in St. Joseph County don’t want to work, so he is going to bring employees from outside – in fact, he is starting interviews via Skype with applicants in Puerto Rico.

The article garnered quite a bit of reaction when shared on the newspaper's Facebook page.

Maybe if they would pay better they would get good workers! Why someone want too only make $10. A hour when can drive down the rd too Indiana and make $30 + hr and less hrs.

I applied there twice and got no response. I’m a highly trained worker and they didn’t even give me a courtesy call. Don’t hand me that excuse. He wants free (or nearly so) labor - nothing more.

Not to mention st Joe county is over 50% felony convictions and even more without a ged or diploma. It's not that they don't want to work, it's because they cant. American axel goes through a temp agency that will employ felons and people without a ged or diploma and once these employees start to like their job American axel ends their assignment.

This type of comment is disgusting truthfully. Livable wages are the biggest problem you’ll run into when you ask why people “don’t want to work.” No person feels valued when they are not compensated to the level of their effort, let alone to make ends meet at home. It begins with respect of the employees and their needs, from that success, you will draw in applicants that will bring value to your business, because you have proven to value them as an asset.

Biggest bunch of crap I've heard recently! People want to work they just don't want to be forced into a 24/7 job that refuses to acknowledge we have families & obligations besides the employer.

I have heard from several people that this place is a joke. Work them 7 days a week for 10 dollars an hour. The executives are making big bucks!! Tell me where the problem is.

Are you effing kidding me? I know somebody with years of experience that applied there and was told that because they didn’t have a bachelor’s degree that they wouldn’t even get an interview.

See the rest of the Sturgis Journal article about workforce issues being faced in St. Joseph County.

Have They Walked Back Their Comments?

The Sturgis Journal article that this piece was written from appears to have been edited online to take out much of what was quoted above. The story now reads, in part,

Concern was expressed about how to get workers who are eligible and motivated, with the desire to go to work.

The original Journal story appears in the print edition.

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