Once upon a time, a young, recently-discharged Navy guy found a job doing what he loved and had been trained by the military to do: Air Traffic Control. And so it was that for many years he built on his skills, increasing his knowledge and climbing to a better and better job. Finally, his dream of working with the Federal Aviation Administration was recognized. His hard work had paid off, and now he had a life career from whence he could build a life, raise his kids, and rest easier. That is, until....
In 2005, shortly after the 2004 presidential election, the FAA's Flight Service component was contracted out to private industry. The winning bidder, Lockheed Martin, set about moving families all over the nation. The whole transistion was chaotic and stressful. Still, he went on to another city to do his job, just as he had done for over 20 years. The transition finally done, his family bought a house. Three years later, an elderly parent was moved close by, as this was to be their final stop until his retirement. That is, until...
The day he and wife came home from vacation (their first in well over 2 years), he learned Lockheed Martin was closing 7 facilities (their 2nd cuts in little over a year), and his facility was one of them. The once-young Navy Air Traffic Controller was now 54 with a very bad back and only one set of job skills. He was brilliant as a controller and a flight service specialist but the job outlook for those skills was, shall we say, bleak. A son in college, an elderly parent living in a facility nearby, and a wife. The first time in 28 years he had not turned off an alarm clock for work.
And so, web friends, that is the story of Black Bear Arts' family. We are lowered but we are not low. We are bent but never broken. Angry but never hate-filled. And through it all, we will try to bring you a little laughter, hope and information in the job market, some good old-fashioned common sense ideas for saving and surviving, and as many resources as we can.
I hope you'll make yourself at home here at our hearth! Maybe you will find a treasure to take with you, and a little encouragement for the day! No matter where you are at this moment, may God bless you mightily! Be gentle on yourself and this old earth. Neither can be replaced!
David & Carol Williams
Black Bear Arts - TN
*Update: In mid-2010, David found a job! The pay is about 1/3rd of his old job, but it is a blessing we are grateful to have*
Free budget software – Mint.com
We hope to hear from you! If you are finding something worthwhile here at Black Bear Arts, please tell us. We can always use the encouragement! If you have ideas or suggestions, we are always open to those, as well.
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History of Project
There are a ton of websites on frugal living, most of them incredibly good. But what I found in our own search was an absence of support and encouragement for displaced workers. We want to keep focused on living smart, living healthy, and living compassionately. A job loss does not mean we stop caring or doing the right things. Our grandparents understood that in hard times, neighbors become family and need becomes everyone's problem. They did not butcher their land or resources; rather, they carefully used them so that they and their resources could be sustained. I hope we are that wise.
Need your car looked at? Have a skill you can offer as payment to a mechanic? I'm betting there's an out-of-work mechanic who could really use some help polishing up a resume' or fixing his computer, and an out-of-work technology worker who needs a mechanic. Work within the unemployed community to solve problems for each other!