Vicki Ellison is not one of the staggering 17% of Scotland County's population that is unemployed. How does she do it? By driving 30 minutes every day to her job at the Campbell's Soup Company in neighboring Robeson County.
In part three of Cal Cunningham's Jobs Plan, "Ending Unfair Trade and Opening New Markets", he proposes solutions for the situation that has slammed Scotland County with massive manufacturing job losses since the early nineties. His proposals include renegotiating international trade agreements, providing incentives for domestic job creation, increasing pressure on and reducing our debt to China and prioritizing safety standards for imported goods. (Read the full proposal here.)
A lifelong resident of Laurinburg, Vicki hasn't worked in her hometown since shortly after Abbott Labs relocated their Scotland County facility to Central America in 2002. Vicki was offered a transfer to Abbott's Rocky Mount plant, a life-altering decision for a single mother with three children who depended on her own mother for child care. In then end, she chose to follow the job, while her kids, her mother and the rest of her family stayed behind. Vicki sent paychecks home and visited on weekends.
But in 2007, Vicki's mother got sick. As the family gathered, Vicki examined job opportunities closer to home. Even before the recession hit greater North Carolina, it was well established in Laurinburg, and the job market was grim. If her former manager at Abbott hadn't recommended her for the position at Campbell Soups, Vicki and her sons would have had to abandon the family home in Laurinburg for good.
Which isn't what we want happening to our small towns. Vicki speaks passionately about what a great place Laurinburg is to grow up in, and she marvels at how life got so difficult there so quickly.
Not only is Cal paying attention to Vicki's story, he's deeply committed to answering her concerns with solid solutions and immediate help. Meanwhile, Richard Burr has stood by while whole swaths of North Carolina manufacturing have disintegrated -- and with it, small town economies and the lives of too many real North Carolinians.
That passivity is what is most offensive about Richard Burr's tenure. His absence on this matter is almost epic; his inattention a deep disservice to the people who need action now.
Please copy/paste, forward and repost the link to this video and Cal's plan:
Let's circulate these ideas so that Cal can push Congress to rebuild these manufacturing communities better than before.