From Toledo to the Far East: Jobs, trade, training

Honolulu, Hawaii (WTOL) - Trade's impact on our workers' jobs was one of the hot topics that elected Donald Trump.

Candidates and workers in the audience railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement or (NAFTA) or the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as the reason why factories closed which left workers without the good paying jobs their parents or grandparents had enjoyed. Upon assuming office, President Trump quickly withdrew the U.S. from TPP.

But experts in Honolulu at the non-profit and non-partisan think tank, the East West Center, said trade deals have helped Americans by allowing them to buy a variety of cheaper goods and critically keeping higher skilled and paying jobs in the U.S.

But our workers need the education and training to acquire the more sophisticated skills needed in higher tech and automated workplaces.

Before leaving Toledo, I pressed U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) on the lack of support for students and workers needing the training to gain more skills.

"Some will go on to college, others won’t but they’ll have a good job. Maybe it is in welding, other manufacturing. But it may be in software, IT, bioscience. Let’s help on the re-training but make sure that the young people coming up can compete with those from other countries like China," affirms Senator Portman.

Education and constant re-training will help workers in Northwest Ohio and Southeastern Michigan maintain an edge to compete with
workers around the world.