Julie Mockbee, of Walton, Kentucky is one of many Americans who got burned by global trade, losing her job of 20 years when auto parts maker Johnson Controls Inc. moved production to Mexico in 2013.
Mockbee used federal funds to get retrained, earning an associate degree in mechatronics. Now 56, she hand assembles machines used to train auto mechanics and earns about $10 less an hour than she did in her old job. Her story is one of many.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, federally funded retraining programs meant to help workers hurt by global trade policies of the 1990s and 2000s haven’t delivered as planned. Workers haven’t moved to where new jobs developed, have fallen behind while in school or have found it too difficult to develop new skills in middle age.
Multiple studies also have shown that many workers left the program earning less than they did before, and have been unable to quickly find new jobs.