By Dylan Smith, Managing Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. — Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) employees were invited to the White House for a round table discussion in the Cabinet Room regarding the agency’s move to outsource their jobs.
Among those in attendance was North Sand Mountain High School alum Stacy Whetzell, a member of the 1969 graduating class.
Whetzell had been notified by his TVA superiors that his job was being outsourced to a foreign company. He was also told that he would be expected to train the foreigners to whom he was losing his job.
During the White House meeting President Trump notified present media that he had terminated TVA Chairman Skip Thompson.
The firing comes amid public backlash over CEO Jeffrey Lyash’s exorbitant salary and the agency’s recent decision to outsource 220 jobs overseas for cheaper foreign labor.
In June, Jackson Blaze published an opinion editorial blasting TVA and it’s operations that have had a negative economic impact on Jackson County.
In addition to firing the chairman of the board, President Trump told reporters that he had also fired Board Member Richard Howarth.
The president is pushing the TVA Board of Directors to remove CEO Jeffery Lyash, citing his $8M salary. Lyash is currently the highest paid federal employee. He also declared that the agency’s next leader should earn no more than $500K annually.
In announcing the overhaul, the president put federally appointed boards on notice.
“If you betray American workers, then you will hear two simple words: ‘You’re fired,'” declared President Trump.
The firing announcement came alongside an executive order aimed at limiting federal agencies from hiring foreign contractors, forcing agencies to prioritize Americans in the hiring process.
During the meeting, Whetzell was recognized to speak by President Trump.
“First, I want to thank you for being the Great American president you are and for caring about and looking out for the great American citizens,” said Whetzell, who has worked for TVA since 1975.
“It was shocking and devastating to be notified on July 23rd that IT leadership had decided that our team, and a total of 40 workers, would be terminated.”
Whetzell made the case against the H-1B program, which corporations have used to hire foreigners to work in the U.S in place of domestic labor.
“We are required to train these replacements as President Trump said, apparently, we’re good enough to train but not retain. Using H-1B workers to replace capable and willing American citizens is turning our American communities upside down.”
He went on to the thank the president for “putting Americans first” and “working to stop this tragedy.”
After Whetzell spoke, President Trump stated that he had been notified that TVA CEO Jeffery Lyash called to inform the White House that he was willing to to reverse course on the decision to outsource.
In a bit of light heartedness in the midst of a serious matter, President Trump indicated that Whetzell’s impassioned statement lead TVA’s chief executive to backtrack.
“It must have been Stacy, I think Stacy did a much better job than me,” said the president.
Stacy Whetzell, a working class man born and raised in Jackson County, had the opportunity to make his voice heard and meet with the President of the United States.
Whetzell displayed the truest form of citizenship by speaking his mind and simply fighting for what is right. The efforts of Whetzell and his fellow coworkers resulted in action at the highest levels of government.