Our Moment in the Sun and Akron's Plan for the Future

Submitted by el jefe on Mon, 10/10/2005 - 13:02.

Booyakasha! Much Respek! And I'll let you know that it's about friggin' time. 2 years this site has been going. Sometimes strong and sometimes slackerish. But let's face it, if there ever were a mirror for the people of Akron, this would be it. Hell this IS Akroness in all it's glory. That said, it's only fair that once every two years or so we get our just dues. This time our just dues mean David Giffels finally pimped us a bit in Akron's daily BJ. And to think we didn't even have to whore ourselves out too much to get it. It seems somehow mystical that our 'moment in the sun', as it were, came on the tails of telling some dumb chick how dumb she is. Perhaps there really is a God. Still doesn't make Pat Robertson any better though.

So who's the dumb chick? Is she from Norton? No but she is going to Canton so she better hope she never looked at someone in an unchaste fashion before or she'll be a commuter for sure. Or who knows, with her whack ideas she might fit right in there.

Regardless of where she's from or where she's going, she's been right here for the past six months or so and her name is Rebecca Ryan. She is the author of the 2001 Report, “Hot Jobs – Cool Communities.”, founder of the Wisconsin based Next Generation Consultants and was hired by the Greater Akron Chamber as a consultant to basically come to our city, tell us what we've done wrong, tell us why young professionals are leaving the area (known as "Brain Drain * "), tell us how hip and cool Akron is versus other cities, and how we can change in order to attract more young professionals to our area.**

Before we look at her suggestions though let me just tell you something: Consultants are about the lowest demeanor of life on this planet. They are barely nudged out of that spot by people who believe there were Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark because all animals were vegetarians back then.

A consultant's job is basically 3 fold:

1) Claim to be an expert on something to attract attention to yourself to land you a job.
You can 'become an expert' by reading some reports and compiling others statistics into your own arrays and publishing your compilation. Publishing is a loose term that can mean anything from putting something on a webpage to just running off a copy of a Word doc on your printer.

2) Once hired as a consultant, make the people that hired you do all the work.
Ask them questions. Give them worksheets to fill out. Ask their opinions on things. Hang out with the head boss that hired you and watch as they treat you like royalty while giving you access to research that you have them do for you or that they've already done.

3) At the end of your stint, publish a report of your findings
Just another compilation of all the stuff they've given you. Skim through it, take some notes, add some readily available market statistics from other sources. Make it look like you care and give some blatantly unremarkable goals for them to try to achieve. This gives them a bonified 'strategic plan' and gives you the paycheck. Plus now you have yet another published report that certifies you as even more of an expert.

In short: If you can get a job as a consultant, do it. You will be set for life, get tons of free meals, have other people do all your work for you, and be treated as some sort of business guru. Granted you'll only be slightly higher than a slug on the evolutionary scale but if you're a consultant you probably don't believe in evolution anyways. Your job will be playing with others facts so why should your life be any different?

I've worked for several companies that have hired consultants to come magically fix all their problems. And of course what does a consultant always say? "We can't magically fix all your problems, but we can look at what you've done, what you're doing, and come up with a strategy for the future***" Automatically this takes all the heat off the consultant for the rest of their tenure and the people paying for this slop eat it up like it's their personal Last Supper and Da Vinci is painting them on the spot- nodding in agreement as if that's what they wanted all along.

This, dear readers, is why bureaucracies suck and fail to accomplish anything in any sort of timely fashion. This is why we've had to wait half a year for these results before Akron took any sort of progressive action. This is why this 'progressive' action isn't progressive at all and in fact, regardless of the steps taken from here on out, these actions will strictly be trying to play catch up. Meanwhile the people you meant to keep and attract to this town will be leaving like their going to play with the dinosaurs on the Ark before the flood hits.

The main problem with consultants is #2 (above). Because a consultant doesn't actually fix shit. They 'consult'. Moreover, the majority of the time they give advice and compile info that was already there and obvious to everyone who didn't have their head shoved up their ass claiming to see the light. You want proof? The proof is right here. Everyday. I talk to you guys all the time and I guarantee that stuff that seems so obvious to us, the cool people from akron, is shit that people so deep in it couldn't muck their way out of without hiring someone for the better portion of a year to help them walk to a window.

Does anyone know how much this lady got paid? Cause I would sure like to know that our tax dollars were effectively spent. But something tells me we've been had. What El Jefe? What tells you that? Check out the list that Ms. Ryan came up with.. then you tell me.

    18 recommendations from Rebecca Ryan to Akron

  • Develop a true Web-based portal for all of greater Akron's ``after hours'' activities.
  • She recommends spending $85,000 on this. Uhh hello! We're right here. Give us some cash and I guarantee you we'd make this place soar. At least Giffels recognizes this.. hi Dave!

  • Design a compelling ``Come Home to Akron'' message and campaign to bring back people who grew up here or went to school/college here and then moved elsewhere.
  • Throw ``Come Home to Akron'' events in three to five cities with the highest concentration of Akron-area alumni.
  • Host ``Come Home to Akron'' events.
  • Connect every resident of greater Akron to a public park, trail or recreation area.
  • Create protected bike and blade lanes in downtown Akron.
  • Outfit city buses with bike racks so that commuters can ``bus and bike.''
  • Staff a full-time executive director to serve greater Akron's young professionals groups.
  • Develop multimedia tools that greater Akron's employers can customize for their talent attraction efforts.
  • Support municipal legislation for alfresco, or outdoor, dining.
  • Develop Lock 3 to get best use of the space.
  • Complete the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath trail.
  • Convene employer roundtables in the industries (utilities, health care, etc.) in which talent needs are greatest.
  • Support the development of ``stroll districts'' in neighborhoods with high densities of young ``knowledge workers.''
  • Support zoning and licensing for ``controversial'' tenants -- such as tattoo artists -- and/or applicants.
  • Build a ``stacked loop'' system -- adding new, challenging trails -- onto the current flat bike and hike trail.
  • Start an annual U.S. or world golf championship for children.
  • Attract nationally televised outdoor events.
  • Ugh. We PAID for this? What a fucking ripoff. You could have gotten twice as many ideas along these lines just from spending a day searching our forums. What a bunch of tools.

    Akron is a city rampant with urban sprawl. We're a city that will fire people when our Mayor has a temper tantrum. We're a city that has a great sense of pride but no new jobs or industry to hold it together. All the park trails, bike trails, special street lanes for hippies, and stupid little parties in the world aren't going to bring nor keep people in this town. One thing will.. jobs.

    So thank you leaders of Akron. Thank you for outsourcing this consulting job. Thank you for wasting taxpayer money on a list that any high school student could've given you or *gasp* you should have been able to come up with ON YOUR FUCKING OWN.

    Here's a little advice to get you a jumpstart on a consultant for next year. I highly recommend you start looking into ways of dealing with mass alcoholism. 'Cause reading shit like this makes me want to drink, heavily.

    --eL Jefe

    * I hate little catch phrases like this. Nothing sounds more idiotic especially considering the irony of this particular one.

    ** Seriously, in case you missed the irony here I think it's worth pointing out -- Akron hired a young professional from Wisconsin to find out why young professionals in Akron are leaving the area and what we can do to attract them. I think I just vomited in my mouth a little bit.

    *** If I had a dollar for everytime a consultant said 'strategy for the future'...


    Original Giffels article HERE You'll need to login to read it, sorry


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