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Lack of jobs driving locals from area

Year after year, tassel after tassel the Miss-Lou must turn a blind eye to a sad truth amid the pomp and circumstance.

Unfortunately too few of the approximately 500 graduates who cross area stages this month will one day return to the Miss-Lou to become contributing members of society.

Too many are eyeing the exit now and will make lives and careers elsewhere.

We wish the best for each area graduate, and we know that staying home isn’t the answer for all.

But for others, a lack of jobs and opportunities may drive them away when home would otherwise be the right fit. For too many, the negative comments about the opportunities in their hometown from ill-informed adults will drive them away unnecessarily.

The 2010 U.S. Census numbers prove that more people are leaving the Miss-Lou than coming, and that’s a trend we must work to change — starting at area high school graduations.

Seniors, don’t write off your hometown. Move away for school or other opportunities if you must, but keep a mental door to the Miss-Lou open forever.

New industries will provide more jobs, directly and indirectly.

Existing businesses seek to hire smart, hard working young people all the time.

Consider home when you start your lives, and you might just be surprised.

The national economic downturn has brought more Natchez sons home in recent years, and the benefits on the community are countless.

We all must work to keep that trend going if we hope to see our community blossom in the future.

Don’t say goodbye this month; say, come back soon!