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There are new opportunities

With the loss of nearly 400 jobs at Opp Mills, the city now faces an uncertain future. Will it become, as some fear, a ghost town, or will it overcome adversity and survive - and thrive. Some of that depends on the economy, global, national, and local. But a lot of it depends on the citizens of Opp themselves, and those being affected by the closing of the mills.

At the risk of sounding nauseatingly optimistic, sort of a newsprint Annie or Scarlett O'Hara, we still have to urge everyone to have hope. Things will get better. There will be jobs. But those who sit and wait for those good things to happen could be waiting for a long time. We need to get out there now, taking advantage of the programs and job training offered by the state and other sources.

Again, at the risk of sounding like Mary Poppins or Pollyanna, we have to remind ourselves that when one door closes, another opens. Perhaps this is the chance Joe Smith was awaiting for, to take a driving course and become a long distance trucker. Maybe this will provide Mary Jones the inspiration to get her GED or associates degree and find herself working in an office instead of a factory. Maybe this is what it will take to get John Doe to retire early, and spend some wonderful quality years with his grandchildren.

Don't sit and wonder what will become of you. Get out there and decide for yourself what your future will be.

Nothing is more frightening than facing the future unsupported. There are few in the newspaper industry who haven't had a serious case of "been there, done that." There

are few in any industry who haven't been in similar circumstances. But keep this in mind - you are not unsupported. There are agencies and organizations who can and will help you through the rough times and into even better times.

And there will be better times.

You can bet your bottom dollar.