Would You Move 1000 Miles For Your Job?

Posted by: BuellBoy

CNN~What would you do if your company closed its doors, but offered you the same job 1000 miles away?

In December 2008, in the depths of the recession, GM worker Steve Kerl faced that same question. Just 8 years from retirement, his GM assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin was shut down. 1,933 workers were out of work.

“What are we going to do?” was Kerl’s first reaction. “Are we going to have our health care? How are we going to come out? We didn’t even know if you were going to have a job.”

Most of the Janesville plant workers took buyouts. But 545 of them were fortunate enough to be offered jobs at other GM plants. The catch? The plants are hundreds of miles from Wisconsin.

What would you do?

Kerl took a job putting fenders on GM SUV’s in Arlington, Texas. It’s hard work. At the end of his 10-hour shifts he goes back to bunk with two other GM workers in a three-bedroom apartment near the plant. Home is 1000 miles away.

Kerl’s wife and two teenage kids remain behind in Janesville. The Kerls didn’t want to take the kids out of school. And they couldn’t face the prospect of selling their house anyway with real estate prices plummeting.

The Kerl family, along with many others who worked at GM in Janesville, is yet another side of the recession. Families physically separated by economic circumstances beyond their control. The sacrifice is palpable.

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6 Comments

Filed under Economy, Jobs, Stimulus, Uncategorized, Unemployment, Video/YouTube

6 responses to “Would You Move 1000 Miles For Your Job?

  1. SouthernGirl2

    “Kerl took a job putting fenders on GM SUV’s in Arlington, Texas. It’s hard work. At the end of his 10-hour shifts he goes back to bunk with two other GM workers in a three-bedroom apartment near the plant. Home is 1000 miles away”.

    That is horrible. Just horrible. It’s incredible strain on the family. How long can a family survive that?

  2. this breaks my heart. I think if it were just me, ok. But, I don’t know if I could leave the spouse and kids.

    then again, this is about livelihoods. what were the other economic choices?

    i bet if the housing market was better, they would have moved to be with him.

  3. spirit_55Z

    The upside: We still have manufacturing plants operating in the good ole US of A. after 8 years of the Bush administration policies.

    I’m sure families will continue to struggle through these challenging economic times.

    Sometimes, you got to do what you gotta do. If it takes drawing on some creative ingenuity to do it. It shows us what we’re made of.

    Looks like in the end Kerl uprooted his family so they could be together. Now he still has his job and his family; good for him. Others aren’t so fortunate.

  4. SouthernGirl2

    “then again, this is about livelihoods”.

    True. But at what cost? I can understand doing what one has to do in order to survive and keep your home, money etc. I don’t know– I see it as the family being broken up. So incredibly sad.

    • spirit_55z

      I hear you, SG2. It is sad to see families seperated. Families sacrifice all the time.

      My parents sacrificed for us. You have to have really strong family ties to survive these days.

      Life changes are invitable; nothing stays static.

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