During these difficult economic times many of us have had family members or friends which have gone through extended periods of unemployment. Unemployed persons under financial pressure and desperate for jobs are often vulnerable to various schemes, some people have had their identity stolen when providing personal information for a job offer received over the internet, or paid upfront fees to obtain jobs that don’t exist.
Just last week, I read of what I think is the most heartless and unethical scheme yet. On Aug. 29, Propeller Investments issued a press release announcing that they are accepting applications for jobs at Briscoe Field and hiring on a limited basis. Even worse, on Aug. 18 Propeller participated in a job fair sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, accepting resumes in person from people desperate for jobs.
In 2010 Brett Smith, managing partner of Propeller Investments, announced the proposed Briscoe expansion would create 20,000 jobs. However, when C4BG interviewed AvPort management at Westchester Airport in New York (Propeller’s original model for Briscoe Field), they learned the airport only employs about 60 people. They estimated total employment of all companies located at Westchester airport was less than 200 people. Brett has told C4BG that he lives in Westchester and frequently flies out of this airport -- surely he is observant enough to recognize the difference between 200 people and 20,000 people as he walks through the airport.
If this were merely Propeller’s over-eagerness relating to premature hiring, we could understand, but Brett Smith has stated it would be at least three years before the Briscoe Field expansion would begin operating. Brett also continues to overstate the number of jobs which would be created if Briscoe is expanded and recently during a radio interview increased the number jobs to be created to 30,000.
So why is Propeller advertising for IT professionals, ramp technicians, and administrative staff now?
Is Propeller truly hiring personnel in Gwinnett or are they attempting to use citizens’ desperation to create support for an unpopular issue?
Perhaps the fact that at the job fair Propeller had a computer setup so “applicants” could send an email to the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners in support of Briscoe Field expansion reveals their true intent.
My opinion is that Propeller and Brett Smith will say anything and do anything to manipulate citizens into supporting a project that will have long-term negative effects of Gwinnett County. Propellers’ actions and misrepresentations in recruiting for non-existent jobs speaks volumes about their lack of integrity, ethics, and all the other “values” to which I aspire.