GM Closes Its Lordstown, OH Plant

GM Closing The Lordstown, OH Plant Is A Tragedy For All Of America And MUST Be Averted

The Ohio GM plant's closing could spell doom for a region struck by immense poverty and drug addiction.

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The Midwest has long been the bastion of American manufacturing. For decades, the region served as the gateway to a new life for migrants seeking to work in automobile plants and steel factories. Perhaps no other city embodies this than Youngstown, Ohio.

For decades the city was a hub for eastern Ohio, with steel foundries still aglow with the lights of the factory.

However, much of the city's population soon departed as the foundries shuttered, culminating in Black Monday in 1973 when 5,000 people lost their jobs. Yet, there was still some manufacturing in the GM Lordstown plant in Ohio.

Now? We found ourselves in yet another similar situation, as GM announced that the plant would close, leading to the loss of 1,400 jobs.

Now there were many justifications offered for this closing, along with the closing of other plants in North America. GM has seen a decline in the number of sales in the car the plant makes, the Chevy Cruze, and the plant only has one shift.

Another could be the tariffs levied on materials by the United States government, which have always been passed onto consumers. GM itself has stated that the immense tariffs on steel and aluminum cost them 1 billion dollars.

There are others, but these are some of the most prominent.

Regardless of the justifications, a solution must be found for these workers. While Representative Tim Ryan and Senator Sherrod Brown have harped on GM relentlessly over this potential catastrophe, the full scope of the effects of this closing should not be ignored.

Losing jobs in this fashion would be immensely detrimental to the region. This region has always been predicated on the industry and losing a significant number of jobs could exacerbate the region's unemployment rate, poverty rate and other factors.

This is not even diving into the opioid epidemic.

In the Steel Valley (featuring the plant), opioid deaths rose in 2017 even as they fell across the state to eight-year lows. Who knows the effects of a closing of this magnitude on the valley? I would not imagine them to be great, even if this is pure conjecture.

Now, I must note that I have a bias here — Ohio is where I spent the vast majority of my life, and even if I was on the other side of the state, I care about all portions of the state. Even with that bias, we should care about the fact that people are about to lose their livelihoods.

This has the potential to make families struggling to make ends meet destitute. President Trump said last year that people should not sell their homes and that all of the jobs were going to return.

Someone needs to make sure these people do not lose their jobs. Reprioritize, add a different product or SOMETHING. People's lives are at stake, and we should stand for no less than the defense of these workers.

I stand with the Lordstown workers. I hope those reading this do too.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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A Message To High School Seniors

It's going to be alright.

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Dear High School Seniors,

You've made it! In just a few months you will be getting ready to put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage to get your diploma. Soon, you're gonna say goodbye to the life you've known for the past four years and start a new life somewhere else. At this point, your senioritis has most likely already kicked in and you're probably dreading waking up at 7 a.m. more and more each day. The second semester of senior year is annoying but cherish every moment of it.

Everything is about to change. As you walk down the hallways look around. Take a second to look at your classmates and ask them how their day is going. Learn about them and the stories they have to share with the world. Everybody has some advice to give and you never know what you're going to learn. Before you know it, you won't be seeing their faces anymore. The only form of connection you'll have with most of them is through social media which will eventually fade as well. You don't want your only memories of those you graduated with to be just seeing their face in the hall.

Go to the places you love the most. Whether it's your favorite hometown restaurant or your favorite place to hang out with your friends, go. Go until you're sick of it. Take a second to acknowledge the sights and smells around you. You're going to miss them. In a few months, you won't be able to jump in your car and drive five minutes to get there. The places that make your home your home are about to be a long car ride or flight away.

Spend time with your family. This is one thing I wish I realized earlier more than anything. Your parents are most likely going to soon become visibly upset or scared at the fact that you're leaving them. After all, you are their little girl or boy. This time is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But don't make fun of them, hang out with them. You're going to miss the once dreaded trips to the grocery store with your mom and the annoying car rides with your little brother. You really don't realize how important your family is to you until they're not a few footsteps away anymore. Unfortunately, no amount of facetime calls will ever compare to being with them in person. Don't leave home wishing you had spent more time with them.

Be involved in the things happening at your school. Go to prom. Buy a yearbook and get as many people as you can to sign it. Go to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer games you have left. These activities may seem boring at times but they are what you're going to miss. When you get to a big university it isn't going to be as easy to get involved.

Get excited about for the future. Even if you're not going to your dream school, it's going to be ok. The second semester of my senior year I spent upset over the fact I was going to stay at an in-state school. The school I'm at now was the last place I had thought about attending. I almost didn't even apply. However, I am so lucky that I did. I truly can not imagine there being a school that could have been a better choice for me. The people I have met and the opportunities I have been given would have never been put in front of me if I had attended another school. Try to keep an open mind. Everything really does happen for a reason. If you aren't going to the school you originally were hoping to, don't stress. You're going to end up at the place right for you, at least I know I did.

College is amazing but there will always be something special about your home. Make sure you make these last few months your best months. These next few months will be filled with a whole lot of lasts and followed by a whole lot of firsts. Good luck!

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