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Wed Mar 6, 2019, 12:00 PM

From $22 an hour to $11: GM job cuts in Ohio show a hot economy is still leaving parts of America be

With all due respect, if he considers himself too old to go back to school at 47, where's he going to be a year from now? 48 and too old to go back to school?

When I was old and signed up to take a course -- at age 57 -- I recalled what Benjamin Franklin said: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Business
From $22 an hour to $11: GM job cuts in Ohio show a hot economy is still leaving parts of America behind

By Heather Long
Economics correspondent
March 5 at 7:38 PM

LORDSTOWN, Ohio — Scott Mezzapeso had to do something last month he never imagined: call his ex-wife and warn her that he might not be able to pay child support on time. Mezzapeso has a tattoo of his daughter on his left arm and rarely misses her high school softball games, but money has become extremely tight. General Motors is shuttering its plant here, and Mezzapeso is one of roughly 5,400 casualties.

Mezzapeso earned $22 an hour with good benefits at Magna, a GM supplier that made seats for the Chevy Cruze, but he was laid off last summer as the auto giant scaled back Cruze production and suppliers did the same. Now he makes $11 an hour working part time at Bruno Bros. Pizza, the only job he has found after months of sending out his résumé.

With GM set to shut down production here Wednesday, Lordstown shows how the nation’s booming jobs market is still leaving vast segments of America behind. Last year was the best for manufacturing jobs in more than two decades, but the Youngstown, Ohio, region where Lordstown is located has continued to lose manufacturing jobs in recent years. About a quarter of the country’s metro areas have faced the same fate, many in the Rust Belt, according to data provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The common prescription for laid-off workers from economists and business leaders — retrain and switch careers or move to another part of the country with more jobs — is proving inadequate for workers such as Mezzapeso. ... “To be 100 percent honest, I thought I would be laid off for a few months and then go back to work,” Mezzapeso said. “At 47, I’m too old to go back to school.”

[When GM closes a plant, workers lose their jobs. But the city loses its spirit.]

Most jobs Mezzapeso sees pay half of what he used to earn. His 1999 Chevy Tahoe gets lousy gas mileage, making it difficult to take a low-paying job a long drive away. ... Friends urge him to go to school and try welding or advanced manufacturing. He and other GM casualties here qualify for the federal government’s marquee retraining program — Trade Adjustment Assistance — that covers all costs for up to two years of classes plus a weekly stipend, meaning they get paid to attend school. ... But only about 30 percent have enrolled in TAA, according to Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services.
....

Heather Long is an economics correspondent. Before joining The Washington Post, she was a senior economics reporter at CNN and a columnist and deputy editor at the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. She also worked at an investment firm in London. Follow https://twitter.com/byHeatherLong

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Reply From $22 an hour to $11: GM job cuts in Ohio show a hot economy is still leaving parts of America be (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2019 OP
redstatebluegirl Mar 2019 #1
SummerSnow Mar 2019 #2
LakeArenal Mar 2019 #3
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Mar 2019 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 12:24 PM

1. I have to wonder who he voted for.

Most of the guys I know back home in Illinois who work for CAT voted for 45, had all kinds of bumper stickers and signs for him. I feel bad for these people, but when you elect a con man to the presidency this is what you get. The layoffs are going to get worse in my opinion, the people who love him will pay the highest price in this mess.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 12:37 PM

2. Trump: Youre going to get so tired of winning

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Response to SummerSnow (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 12:58 PM

3. Yes. Trump is still on his Winning Tour.

The question is, are all those union workers going to learn anything and vote blue.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2019, 03:45 PM

4. MAGA!!!!!

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