The Recession and Job Retraining

Michigan town shows promise and pitfalls of job retraining, By Don Lee, July 10, 2011, Los Angeles Times: “When the Electrolux refrigerator factory shut down in 2006, idling almost 3,000 workers, this self-proclaimed Refrigerator Capital of the World put the last two locally produced units in a museum. And the town itself might follow – a once-thriving community overwhelmed by economic forces beyond its control and seemingly bound for history’s dustbin. Waves of layoffs hit other factories. New start-ups cut back. Hard times hit local stores, service firms and government agencies. Like hundreds of other American towns ravaged by the recession, Greenville learned how losing jobs can spread like a contagion through families and institutions that form the heart of a community. Things got so bad that a special office was created recently to help more than 1,000 schoolchildren who had no real homes. ‘It’s a heinous situation,’ said Brenda Greenhoe, director of the office. Greenville, though, is more than a sad story. It’s a petri dish for testing one of the most widely prescribed remedies for reviving troubled communities – job training…”

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