Paid and volunteer jobs pay off locally

Whether you work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, volunteer a few hours a week, or stay home to raise a family, we all have important jobs to do.
We are the American workforce. While our responsibilities, skills, pay and deadlines vary, we work hard all year long.
Monday is Labor Day, a holiday for many of us, though we know there are countless others who will have to work.
For many, the day is one where they'll trade in their time card for barbecues, golf outings and family time. Others will just spend the day at home relaxing.
So, what is the holiday really about?
Labor Day recognizes the creation of the labor movement and celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers.
The holiday dates back to September 5, 1882 when a number of unions in New York City joined together to hold a parade and massive picnic. It is estimated that 10,000 workers marched in the parade with thousands more people lining the parade route. "The newspapers of the day declared it a huge success and ‘a day of the people,'" according to a history of the holiday on the U.S. Department of Labor's website.
New York, New Jersey and Colorado were among the first states to approve state legal holidays in 1887. After 23 states created their own holiday honoring workers, Congress passed a bill in June 1894 establishing a legal federal holiday on the first Monday of September.
In 1909 by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor, the Sunday before Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
Parades and Labor Sunday may not be the norm anymore for Labor Day festivities, but that doesn't mean the holiday isn't relevant.
Now, more than ever, the American worker should be thankful to have a job. Many Americans have been hard hit in recent years as the economy tanked and the unemployment rate skyrocketed.
Things are improving, but Barnwell County still has the fifth highest unemployment rate in South Carolina. The county's unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in July 2014 - still better when compared to 12.9 percent one year ago.
We can only hope conditions will continue to improve for the American workforce and those hoping to join it. Good jobs are vital to a community's success.
While we have to rely on our government and economic development officials to market our community to industries, we can all do our part to make our community an attractive place to live, work and play.
Some residents already do this by volunteering at existing agencies, schools and organizations. Others are working to create new opportunities for us all, such as a senior center in Blackville and a YMCA for residents of all ages in the county to enjoy. Read more about the YMCA and possibility of a senior center in Blackville in this edition.
Where can you help? There are always "jobs" available.
These jobs don't come with a paycheck, but they can pay off big for our county in the end.