Can We Bring Back Jobs by Retooling Factories?

BY busadmin  March 25, 2009 at 5:25 PM EST

turbines; brentdanley via Flickr

Question: You recently had a segment about the loss of jobs in Elkhart, Ind. I was watching it on KRCB, a station that was not having a pledge drive that day. To fill in, there was a report on a shipping port in California.

The interviewee told of wind turbine blades being shipped from Korea, manufactured by a Vietnamese company. Those blades then went by rail to the Midwest. What a coincidence!! Could the coach factory in Elkhart be retooled to build wind turbine blades? The blades would then be U.S. built and not have the shipping costs attached.

Paul Solman: Well, as Don Gaut, one of the laid-off workers in Elkhart, put it in a soundbite that got cut from the story you saw: “Wind turbines. I think wind turbines would be a good thing to start building.” He was talking about retooling the very factory you’re talking about. And due to the limitations of time travel, he couldn’t have seen the pledge break piece.