Natalie Nadeau
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Notice of Termination

Steel, Hardware

2014

“Notice of Termination” is a work that is centered on the massive job cuts passed by the Ford Motor Company during the last four-year period of the 2000’s. In 2007, Windsor’s “The Foundry”, Ford’s Casting Plant internationally known as the WCP, was officially closed. This resulted in the laying off of 500 employees. During 2009 and 2010, Ford continued the lay offs at the Windsor Engine Plant. Out of 6,000 employees, 1,730 were left still tied to the company. Along with GM’s closure of its transmission Plant in 2010, Windsor’s blue-collar community was faced with extreme hardship and an economic implosion.

Through the layoff incentives each company had one major benefit which re-training through second career’s, lay off employee’s had the opportunity to go back to school in a trade that was in high demand. Tuition and other educational fees were covered by one of the big three. On paper this opportunity sounded hopeful for the women and men leaving the automotive manufacturing industry in Windsor. Unfortunately for most that tried reentering the educational system the drive and motivation was lost. The realization that entering the workforce near the age of retirement with no other post-secondary education and wage cuts was a cold hard reality for many Windsorites.

I took part in a 10 month trades program at St. Clair College in Windsor. More then half of the student body was second career students. The program was for a Diploma in Mechanical Technician-CAD/CAM. This program followed all the requirements for individuals apart of Second Career. The uncertainty with this new way of machining is that the technology is constantly changing. The manufacturing industry in Windsor is trying to make a come back with a broadened mind set thinking beyond automotive manufacturing to domestic and aerospace manufacturing. Through multiple discussions with my fellow class mates that suffered through the drastic Big Three layoff of the late 2000’s, the main theme that was brought forward was that blue-collar stable job’s in the manufacturing sector will never go back to how they were.