Thursday, August 04, 2005

Even Tax Money Won't Tempt Them

A month or so ago, I mentioned an announcement from Toyota about the expansion of their business into Canada on the now defunct South Knox Bubba web log. SKB kindly reprinted the peice and it did generate some good comments. Today I see that the web log Facing South has a story about it and a link - (alwayts interesting stories there, by the way)

Basically, Toyota refused lots of fresh, hot new tax dollars from the Southeast because they simply cannot get a workforce who understands the work required. Here is a sample of the reasons why Toyota decided to go to Canada -

"The level of the workforce in general is so high that the training program you need for people, even for people who have not worked in a Toyota plant before, 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, whose members will see increased business with the new plant [...]

Several U.S. states were reportedly prepared to offer more than double [the] subsidy [Southern states were offering]. But Fedchun said much of that extra money would have been eaten away by higher training costs than are necessary for the Woodstock project.

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 illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.

Now, before you say, give the schools money, remember TN and other states have been gushing millions into education in the last 10 years, while never really improving the Quality of Education. Why? It is more profitable for schools to keep the money flowing in and the best way to do that is make sure the Quality of Education never improves.
It is about growing Jobs in Education.


  1. It's good to feel right. But then again, I'm always right. Well... left... but right.

  2. Brother Mike9:12 AM

    Mark Banker, a history teacher at Webb School in Knoxville with a PhD, is currently working on a history of East Tennessee. It will be published some time next year by UT Press. Mark's bottom line is that it is the local power brokers who keep depressing the lower classes, both black and white in East Tennessee to preserve their own power. It is this local power structure that refuses to spend the necessary funds for education to allow the economically challenged to get out of the perpetual state of poverty. He will use this announcement by Toyota as an epilogue to the book. I can't wait to see it.

  3. Thanks for the info on Mark's book. I look forward to reading it. Hopefully more people will realize there are some deeply-rooted economic, educational and political problems that the current power structure will not and can not correct.
    The first lines of the TN Constitution need reinforcement: ALL POWER IS INHERENT IN THE PEOPLE.
    Elected and appointed officials are Employees of Citizens.