‘I will never forgive them for closing': Workers adapt after a factory shuts down

Howard Schneider tells the story of Fremont, California, a town in the shadow of the innovation of Silicon Valley. Fremont, however, was wracked by job losses when a plant run by New United Manufacturing (NUMMI) closed. The plant had been a once-promising joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, but it — and its workers — fell prey to some of the overlooked forces of globalization.

Below, is the story of how workers like Tony Camillo and Mike Carson have moved on with their lives after losing their jobs.

“I only wish the ride could have lasted longer.”
For longtime autoworkers like Dave Mosqueda and Tony Camillo, life changed the day the NUMMI plant closed.

For longtime autoworkers like Dave Mosqueda and Tony Camillo, life changed the day the NUMMI plant closed. (Lee Powell/The Washington Post)

“I will never forgive them for closing.”
Mike Carson made a career out of the auto plant in Fremont, Calif. Now, he is working at a homeless shelter and living in more affordable Patterson, Calif.

Mike Carson made a career out of the auto plant in Fremont, Calif. Now, he is working at a homeless shelter and living in more affordable Patterson, Calif. (Lee Powell/The Washington Post)

“This community has been knocked down.” 
When NUMMI and Solyndra plants were shut down, city officials in Fremont, Calif. scrambled to fill the business void.

When NUMMI and Solyndra shut down, city officials in Fremont, Calif. scrambled to fill the business void. (Lee Powell/The Washington Post)

 

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Lydia DePillis · August 22, 2014