First, if you read the Missoulian article on Decker you’ll see that Decker is an 83-year-old company that’s headquartered in Iowa. The company just had the grand opening to their $6 million new office complex in Missoula and terminal building, which covers 20 acres and is expected to employ 24 office and shop workers.
So what does Decker do? They’re a shipping company that works with those huge semi trucks you see going down the highway. They move stuff, primarily with refrigerated trucks it looks like, and I think these are good jobs.
Alright, they’re not curing AIDS or saving the rainforest jobs, but by golly they're sure a helluva lot better than the…oh, perhaps 3 dozen or so jobs Kohl’s will create.
Why is that?
- Office workers are more skilled. They traditionally need a bit more education and their job is more important and fulfilling;
- The workers at Decker will most likely be paid more than those at corporate behemoth Kohl’s;
- I assume that Decker will have more of these new employees working full-time, something I’m very doubtful Kohl’s will do;
- Benefit packages for Decker will probably exist, while for Kohl’s I don’t see any benefits that are worth a damn coming to workers.
Probably what’s so important with Decker is that they’re going to expand. They’ve already made it clear that they’ll be hiring an additional 100 drivers by the end of the year, bringing their fleet of drivers up to 300. Considering these folks are making $45,000 to $55,000 a year…gosh, this is great.
How much will a Kohl’s worker make? I’m guessing close to minimum wage. But let’s say they’re making $10 an hour and working 40 hours a week. Then they’d make $20,800 before taxes. I’m no math genius, so maybe you can tell me where you’d rather work.
The COO of Decker is Lonnie Wallace and I can’t help but think his work with Jim Palmer Trucking helped him with this decision. See, he used to be president of that company, and some of you might remember that Dave Wanzenreid worked there for many years. Wanzenreid later went on to represent SD49 here in Missoula.
Connections, the things that make business run. I hope we can get more great connections with Decker, the kind we had with Wanzenreid, and that allow us to grow businesses further.
I know deep in my heart that no such connections with Kohl’s will ever be possible. For Missoulians, Decker is a good place to work while Kohl’s is a bad place.