Although the children selected for the arena training program won't be turned into donkeys, and made into slaves, there probably won't be any NIZ jobs in their future. The 20 kids getting the vocational training camp scholarship are currently between 5th and 8th grade. While The Morning Call article regurgitates the Administration's propaganda that the arena zone will bring thousands of jobs and half a million visitors annually to Allentown, if there is any bloom left on that rose in four years, remains to be seen. For the 5th graders, I'm afraid the arena will already be closed by the time they graduate. If one of those children should happen to be a future engineer, he or she might find the current construction interesting. The undersized steel and prefab concrete panels along Linden Street are being supported by the diagonal braces, which in turn will frame the bleachers for hockey fans. Someone in the trades described it as a lesson in quick and cheap construction. Although I support vocational training, and applaud the Trades Council for their funding ($3,000), lets not get excited and call this Community Benefit. We have a few developers, building a few buildings for a few businesses, with a total few hundred employees. All this is being funded by state taxes. It is the nature of the politicians and developers to overstate the public benefit, but it shouldn't be the nature of the newspaper to amplify that hype.
UPDATE: Sometimes I'm too nice, such is the case above. In reality, 18 trade unions, although working on $600 million in construction, contributed a total of $3,000, or $166 dollars each. For this paltry amount, the article states that the deal was brokered by Pawlowski and Jeff Glazier of the School District Foundation. Brokered by Pawlowski, puffed by The Morning Call. I don't fault the trade unions, I fault the newspaper, for finding every press release by the city newsworthy.