#manufacturing #GeneralMotors #PlantClosings #Lordstown
All signs point to a booming economy and job market, but folks in Lordstown, Ohio, are not seeing it.
General Motors is closing its plant there. Workers have a decision: move to another part of the country that has more jobs, or retrain and change careers.
In May 2019, GM sold the Lordstown plant to a company that will make electric trucks.
Heather Long wrote an article for the Washington Post about what’s happening in Lordstown. The article was also published March 9, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Many workers are opting to go to other GM plants around the country. Others don’t want to leave the place they call home, where their children and extended family are, Long writes.
Perhaps some will get jobs at the new truck plant.
The workers qualify for the federal government’s marquee retraining program, Trade Adjustment Assistance, that covers cost of retraining classes up to two years, plus a weekly stipend to attend them, Long writes. About 30 percent of the workers have signed up for TAA, she says.
Still, many workers say they are too old to go back to school, or that they tried, but found the classes overwhelming, Long writes.
The Greater Youngstown area, where Lordstown is located, is among many urban settings, mostly in the Rust Belt, that are continuing to lose relatively well-paying manufacturing jobs, Long writes.
In this case, the Lordstown plant produced the compact Chevy Cruze, while the bulk of the U.S. car market is dominated by trucks and sport-utility vehicles.
The Lordstown example is one of many in which good-paying jobs, for the least educated, are disappearing, and unlikely to return.
If you are among this group of workers, you can’t be assured that your job will be there for you for as long as you want. Progress in automation, though good overall for manufacturing and commerce, is your personal enemy.
So what do you do? First, you have to think about a Plan B. That is, a way to make an income when your job goes away. Second W-2 jobs may not be the best answer.
However, there are many vehicles out there that allow you to make a potential income that could eventually dwarf your current one, by simply spending a few, part-time hours a week of your off-work time. It doesn’t matter your age, background or skill level. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
As for the Lordstown GM workers, and others in a similar position, your workplace options are few, and mostly not good. You have to think about doing something different.
Waiting for the plant to reopen is futile. If re-education in manufacturing is difficult or impossible for you, try getting re-educated in something a little less taxing. Unless you are really willing to go out of your comfort zone, you may even have to figure out how to cobble together an income from jobs that will certainly pay you less per hour than you were making.
We all can feel bad for these workers, though many of us have seen this coming for a long time. It would have been easier had they thought about a Plan B years ago.
Alas, that is not reality. We, as workers, can’t stop progress in manufacturing. Companies have to look hard at cutting costs, and becoming nimble as markets for products change quickly. Some workers will suffer as a result, but those workers have to figure out how to solve that problem on their own, taking advantage of any available help.
Many say the U.S. doesn’t make things anymore. Well, it does, but with many fewer people.

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