Posted June 17, 2007 05:37 pm

Outsourcing will cost engineers their jobs

Anybody out there need an engineer? I hear there are some at Kimberly-Clark who might be in the job market soon.

The Dallas-based company, which operates the massive tissue paper and diaper production plant in Beech Island, has notified its engineering staff that it will be outsourcing those duties to a foreign contractor, possibly a company with operations in India.

There has been no formal announcement yet by Kimberly-Clark, but such a move would seem to fit its current M.O. of sending work to the world’s second-most populous country.
Earlier this year, it announced that it would hire Cognizant Technology Solutions (which is headquartered in New Jersey but primarily operates out of seven cities in India) to run its software maintenance and development operations and that Genpact, an India-based company, would handle its finance and accounting operations.

It seems to be getting harder and harder to find a job that can’t be sent overseas.

Fortunately, nobody has found a way to send my job to India. Yet.

THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF: The entire nation is struggling with the concept of exporting U.S. jobs and importing foreign workers to do jobs we (allegedly) don’t want to do.

Writing in-depth analyses on important public-policy issues during my 15 years in the newspaper business has taught me one thing: What the general public cares about most are stories on new stores and restaurants.

I am no exception.

That’s why I let out a wholly inappropriate “Cool!” in the office the other day when I found out a Sonic Drive-In restaurant will be built at 498 Furys Ferry Road in the Bi-Lo/Petersburg Shoppes plaza and – more important – less than a mile from my home.
Call me selfish, but the only thing that would make my cherry limeade sweeter is if I could walk (safely) to get it. My neighborhood, like most built in Columbia County during the 1980s, has no sidewalks.

Back then, developers didn’t incorporate those pesky (read: costly) strips of concrete into their projects. That’s mainly because they weren’t required to by the county government, which was, essentially, controlled by builders, developers, brokers and others who prefer Range Rovers to Reeboks.

Thank goodness Columbia County is no longer the People’s Republic of Realtors and has progressive land-use ordinances on the books … right? Right?

Hello, is this thing on?

Tough crowd.

NOVELTY TEETH, anyone?: Columbia County resident Nancy Albert, who might or might not have sidewalks in her neighborhood, seems to be doing well selling her Dr. Bukk novelty teeth ( She has sold more than $100,000 worth of Imako Cosmetic Teeth to a catalog since last August. A few weeks back, Jay Leno mentioned the Grovetown-based company’s product on the show. That ought to boost sales , too.

PARTS IS PARTS: One of our business reporters, Tim Rausch, wishes he had a radiator for a 1985 Buick or a side mirror mount for a Mustang.

If he did, he’d be making some money. Since he wrote a story about the new Pull-A-Part auto salvage yard in Augusta, folks have been calling him instead of the company.

Pull-A-Part isn’t in the White Pages , but it has a big ad in the Yellow Pages under “Salvage.” If you can’t find it in the book or on that dubya-dubya-dubya thing, the number is (706) 432-0600. If you feel like talking to Tim anyway, call (706) 823-3352.

ANOTHER TIDBIT FROM TIM: For all of you dollar store fans out there – and there must be a lot of you, considering there’s one on every corner in Augusta – the Fred’s dollar store chain has plans for a 16,000-square-foot store in the 2700 block of Tobacco Road.

Construction could begin as soon as the Augusta Commission OKs an exemption on its B-1 commercial zoning to allow the extra 1,000 square feet. Consider it done, unless a commissioner or one of a commissioner’s friends has a property nearby.