I remember it well. In the mid-nineties I was teaching computer skills at a mid-sized training center with three schools and a strong alliance with the Vocational Rehabilitation bureau. At one school I had 30 seats mostly filled with Voc Rehab clients whose jobs had been off shored, most of them laid off from the local shoe factory where they had made upwards of $15 to $20 an hour doing piecework with a minimal base wage. Most of these folks had worked in the mill all their lives - like their parents before them, made a decent living wage and lived the middle class life promised by the American Dream. Then came NAFTA and Ross Perot's giant sucking sound of medium skill, high paying manufacturing jobs being off shored en-mass by people like Fucking Mitt Romney. After my class they would be competing for minimum wage, entry level jobs with some paying a little more for those lucky enough to have some technical skills. Broke My Heart.
Plants like this one in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts that employed thousands of workers and support staff are now empty.
Plants like this one in Hongqingting Shoe Factory, Wenzhou China are now packed and very busy.
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