The sun sets on Ford Talbotville

by Joel Sandwith on September 15, 2011

Today is officially the last day of production at the Ford St Thomas Assembly Plant in Talbotville.

This is  a sad day, and possibly a turning point in our economy.  I work in, and love Sarnia, but I live in St Thomas, and this closure, like many others before it, affects me, my family and friends and neighbors.

My grandfather Howard worked at Ford’s in both Oakville and Windsor, as an accountant.  He worked there from the mid fifties until 1973, the year I was born.  He was proud to work there, and owned Ford’s all his life.

My father Paul worked his way through university at the Ford part depot in Bramalea.  He didn’t stay, but always acknowledged how much that job helped him get where he is today.  Today, he drives a 2010 Mustang.

I have friends and neighbors who worked at Ford, some up until today’s closure.  I’ve met with at least 15 different Ford Talbotville workers in my work first as a credit counsellor and now in the bankruptcy area.

There have been thousands, tens of thousands of good hardworking people who have lost manufacturing jobs in the last several years in Sarnia, St Thomas, London, Chatham, Windsor, all over the country.  Does Ford signal the end of those losses?  The beginning of a rebuilding?  It’s hard to say – local governments seem convinced that the Ford plant will be sold and reborn in another form.  Maybe, hopefully.

I’m reminded on a constant basis, listening to the stories of my clients, how quickly personal finances can fall apart.  How you can spend years raising kids, paying mortgages, taxes and other bills and have it all taken from you in the time it takes to open a paycheck.

I don’t want to make a political statement here, or even an economic one.  I just want to express my hope that this is the last big plant closure we all have to endure and that soon the conversation is about something other than job loss and financial pain.






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