When a small community like Whitewater comes to rely on hundreds of non-resident commuters to provide services (for city, schools, or university), those commuters will have a different work relationship than resident workers. (About these workers see The Commuter Class.)

Many will be less attached to the community (as they’ve freely chosen to live elsewhere for housing, activities, etc.). Some will see that they’re working in a community whose residents cannot fill all the available professional positions (and so come to see the community as dependent). Some will look on the community merely as a job opportunity and so come to look for other opportunities if any moment in the community goes poorly. Others will look on the community merely as a job opportunity and so bend easily to bad local ideas simply to retain employment.

Mentoring new employees or leaders is difficult in this situation: they may not be amenable to longterm guidance, either because there are too few resident leaders to provide guidance or because some of those resident leaders won’t have serious mentoring to offer non-resident professionals in any event.

In this way, a local deficiency of professional workers becomes worse through an inability to mentor adequately those commuting workers who do take employment in the city.

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3 years ago

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