This article on the cover of USA Today both saddened and incensed me....so much so that I wrote a response. For me, who usually is unpolitical and chooses not listen to the news,...this is major! Major enough for me to start a MOVEMENT!!!
I was raised in this beautiful community on the banks of the Ohio River. This town, and the people who live there, contributed to the savvy business woman I am today. It was neither "no place" nor "a rural problem area" before Henry J. Kaiser arrived. And my family never worked at Kaiser.
It is not a "one horse town" and there was a strong middle class before Kaiser and there will be after. Kaiser, indeed, was good for Ravenswood and brought people who had lived in many parts of the world to leave a mark on this town. Their influence and sophistication made for an idyllic, cultured lifestyle in the 1950, 60s and 70s and still shapes the area today.
It is the type of community where you know and care about your neighbor and you allow your children to walk home from school without fear. It is clean and non-polluted and I, and many others who have spent time there, will always fondly call it home.
I am saddened and incensed by the statement, "One-horse towns such as Ravenswood risk losing their reason for being." Juravich, who teaches about labor at the University of Massachusetts, should spend some time in Ravenswood before declaring it done. He states, "Without a hospital or university campus or county seat, they're one plant shutdown from oblivion." There is a hospital 15 minutes away, a university campus 30 miles away, and a county seat 15 miles away. All of which are much closer than similar areas of a metropolis.
The people of Ravenswood are proud and strong and will survive regardless of the state of the plant. It is but a reflection of a mirror that many Americans do not want to look into. It may be happening to smaller towns today but it will trickle up eventually and touch even Juravich. Turning away from the scene in the mirror does not mean it does not exist.
The world is indeed going through a cleansing process... and no place will this cleansing be more evident than in the world of business! We no longer trust big corporations balance sheets nor the executives who approved them. We see jobs disappearing and finances crumbling as a result of the virtual business model and the wanton and uncontrolled greed of Wall Street, big business, and a corrupt political system that turned a blind eye to the shenanigans.
It is time for a change. It is time for new thinking. It is time to restructure the way we work and feel about working. The people of Ravenswood and other towns, large and small, will need to create their own jobs as small business is what is destined to save our economy. Small businesses will use this transition period to retool and re-engineer the very foundation of our economic structure. The old way of doing business has not served our economy, our planet, nor us. It is time for new ideas.
I believe that now, more than ever before, women are poised to lead these small businesses with an inherent skill and a pioneering spirit I call the Revolutionary Woman. A woman who is prepared to lead the revolution by creating companies that will become the employers, the role models, and the innovators of a new way of doing business.
I call on the women of Ravenswood and other towns suffering from this economy to step fully into their innate abilities as leaders, nurturers, and heroines! The Internet has equalled the playing field and social media is reshaping the way business is conducted. It is easier to start, run, and succeed in business at this point of history. So join the Revolution...join the movement this cover story of USA Today has inspired.
Today a 58 year old woman from Ravenswood, WV with a computer, an idea, and a will to succeed competes toe to toe with larger, more established publications. That woman is me. Read my story and more about becoming a Revolutionary Woman at The (r)Evolutionary Women Blog.