Thursday, July 07, 2005

Well, They Are Red States After All

We have to admit to being a bit miffed when we first read this article. Then we looked at it a little more closely and...well...have you ever traveled in the south?

Canadian workers are well-trained. That explanation was cited as a reason why Toyota turned its back on hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies offered from several American states. "The level of the workforce is so high that the training program you need for people is minimal compared to what you have to go through in the southeastern United States," said Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association.

When asked if that were true of states in other regions of America, Fedchun replied that it wasn't, but people in the north and west often expected a "living wage and benefits and stuff, but the Bubbas will pretty much work for anything we want to give them."

He said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some workers how to use high-tech plant equipment. "And by 'high tech' I'm talking about the thermostat."

"The educational level and the skill level of the people down there is so much lower than it is in Canada," Fedchun said. "Heck, in one plant the infra red toilet flushers scared the workers and they would go out behind the plant to do their business."

"Yep, we ain't much into that book learnin' down here," said Bob Riley, Alabama Governor, who recently completed his GED. "And give me a good old fashioned outhouse over those new fangled commodes any day."

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