Staying home may be your best opportunity

March 15, 2024

High school graduation is just two months away. Parents and students are preparing the next step for their future.

Over the last several years, I’ve noticed a trend: the amount of property being sold to out-of-town residents.

In the newspaper, we see each deed filed in Clay County. Every week, we see one or more deeds where land is purchased by people out of town and mainly out-of-state.

Just off the top of my head, I’ve probably seen over 250 deeds filed in five years or more with this exact scenario.

Since then, I’ve met several people who have moved here. I’ve asked them why and how you found tiny little Clay County.

One man from Massachusetts said he found us on the internet. I’ve found that is how most find us. They have no connection, no relatives, and many times, they purchase the property sight unseen.

Why? Why would you move here? I always ask. The reply is always the same: get out of the city.

They describe other parts of our country, especially metro areas, as lawless places with in-creasing crime. Many have even brought their extended families with them, and they, too, have purchased property.

One person said, “As bad as you think it is here, it’s worse out there.”

That got me thinking…should we stop encouraging our kids to leave here?

The old thought process was that there was no future here. A few weeks ago, I penned a column about how opportunities abound here if you take the time to receive educa-tion/training.

Is encouraging our children to leave for ‘greener pastures’ the best thing we could do?

Based on what I am seeing, it’s not. With all the faults you may find here in southeastern Kentucky, we are still far ahead of being a better place to live and raise your children.

Crime statistics prove my point 100%. Are new residents correct? We have our problems, but it’s better than other places.

Parents, it would be best if you rethought your thinking. We have opportunities here, and we have jobs that need to be filled. Just last week, our federal corrections institute was ask-ing for employees.

We need teachers. We need trade workers in plumbing, HVAC, electricians, etc.

We need nurses, doctors, and lawyers. Yes, lawyers. Look around at the average age of our current litigators. The majority are above age 50. They’re not going to work forever.

I say all that to say this: the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the pasture. Think about what I’m saying, sit down with your children, and discuss the various ideas and opportuni-ties they could have here. And, most importantly, they will one day be raising your grand-children. Wouldn’t having them close to home in a much safer environment be nice?