Tag Archives: jobs

You Load Sixteen Tons and What Do You Get? Guest Post

This story came to me from Lee Ballinger, a former steelworker in Ohio’s Warren-Youngstown area. In the early twentieth century, the Youngstown area boasted the largest concentration of steel-making facilities per capita, and per square mile, in the world. In time, the city’s fate turned. Between 1977 and 1982 alone, five major steel mills closed—thereafter, 50,000 jobs vanished.[1] Lee’s was one of them.

I know what it’s like to depend upon coal to feed a family. Many years ago I worked at a steel mill in Ohio. My job was at the coke plant where West Virginia coal was turned into coking coal for the blast furnace. The top of the coke ovens was an area the size of a football field where monstrous machines funneled coal into the ovens. It was my job to put the heavy oven lids back on nice and tight.  It was literally as hot as hell up there. It felt like walking barefoot on hot coals. The air we breathed was truly foul but to us it was the sweet smell of something like success. We called it the smell of money because it paid the bills.  Continue reading

News and Views

A roundup of news and analyses from and about Ohio – 20 August 2012

“Obama back in Ohio Tuesday following last week’s innovation, infrastructure news,” by John Michael Spinelli for examiner.com on 19 August 2012. Obama bringing $30 million to Youngstown, 15 transportation infrastructure projects, and himself to Ohio.

“Swing state voters don’t see US economy rebounding,” by Aaron Blake for The Washington Post’s blog “The Fix” on 16 August 2012. The Post is still trying to figure out why Ohioans don’t feel confident about their economic recovery. And here’s the poll itself, showing at least an uptick in confidence in recent years.

“US Plans Institute of Innovation to Strengthen Economy,” by Lalit K Jha for Outlook India.com on 17 August 2012. Obama administration plans an institute to keep jobs from going to India and China. I think an institute will hardly match up to profit-driven motives.

“Ohio GOP Election Official Regrets Black Turnout ‘Machine’ Comment,” by Luke Johnson for the Huffington Post on 20 August 2012. The terms of the debate on Sec. of State Husted’s efforts to reduce early voting hours become sleazier and more blatantly discriminatory against Ohio’s minorities and working class (‘read Democrats’).

“Mass Job Layoffs Decline in Ohio,” by Randy Tucker for the Dayton Daily News on 15 August 2012. This is good news, if you can swallow that 668 is a “low” number of layoff announcements last year.

“Honda’s new Accord brings investment, jobs to Ohio,” AP in CBS Money Watch on 17 August 2012. Honda doing even more good for Ohio than they already were.