Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame) once wrote of Alabama: “Alabama, you've got the rest of the Union to help you along, what's going wrong?”
Well, Neil, the times have changed and Alabama is a different state indeed!
There are many factors that have changed Alabama into a highly technical workforce with a 3.3% unemployment rate and 80,000 new jobs (according to the Bureau of Labor statistics at the end of 2019).
I was quite pleased to hear about the Robotics Technology Center in Decatur, Alabama. This modern facility has made very interesting connections with Toyota and with the Trump Administration to cause many industries and manufacturing plants to consider relocating in the South and especially in North Alabama.
How could they do that?
This highly technical school is opening the door to its graduates for high paying career manufacturing jobs for those who attend. Meaningful careers in skilled work is exactly what the US executives of manufacturing plants in China need to see and be incentivized to move back home.
For years, America has let our manufacturing jobs close their doors in the USA and move to China (and some to other Asian countries). Finally, many Americans and hopefully the political leadership in Congress have reached a point where they see the reversal of this trend. Globalization is no longer the “in” concept. The liberals may never say “America First” but they must admit that it is terribly unwise to rely so much on Communist China for our essential in medicine, manufacturing and mother boards.
So, back to Toyota. Ivanka Trump, who is spearheading this technology re-training for the American workers, stated in late 2018, that Toyota has signed a pledge committing to re-train 200,000 employees and creating new job opportunities for those who have been retrained. Ms. Trump has stated that “In total, over 340 companies have signed our pledge creating 13 million training opportunities for Americans of all ages across this nation.” Hopefully, some of my clients whom I represented in their workers' compensation claims or Social Disability Benefits claims, who have disabilities can get into this training and can find meaningful, skilled labor at high wages that will continue for the rest of their career.
I strongly believe we have one of the three foundational parts to making this happen: Number One-our government, at the highest levels. Number Two-we also seem to be getting business/manufacturing interests willing to make the decision to return home. Number Three-now, the weakest link of all, our US Congress, needs to put aside their self-interests and partisan bickering, and create the necessary legislation that will truly encourage a return of many of our great businesses to our shores. Now is the right time!