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April 07, 2010

The New Car Industry in the South

The New Car Industry in the South

In recent years, the U.S. car making business has made a distinct shift south. Asian car makers like Hyundai and Kia have set up non-union assembly plants in southern states. Today - two stories of men who have their hopes and dreams built on the future of the auto industry in the South.

MISSISSIPPI: Barry Emison is a tool and die teacher at a community college near Blue Springs, Mississippi. In 2007, he was given the news that Toyota would be opening up a local manufacturing plant and his program would be revamped to train the workers. Barry worked night and day to change the curriculum and get new equipment. Then Toyota announced the plant opening would be delayed, indefinitely.

GEORGIA: When Chris Frost found a job with a supplier for the local Kia auto plant, he couldn’t believe his good fortune. But once the job started, things weren’t looking so rosy. Chris says that a cultural divide between the Korean managers and the American workers made it a tough work environment. But now, things are improving.


We've been doing a small series of stories about people forming new businesses even in this down economy. Tracy Vasquez has been running a small custom cookie business out of her home for several years.  Her dream was to have an actual retail business. But bad credit decisions and a felony charge held her back for years. This May, Tracy’s about to realize her dream of opening up a real cookie shop. It all came about because of a chance meeting with a TV Food Network baker. Tracy talks with Dick about how her life’s mistakes actually made her stronger and prepared her to own her own business.

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