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Maintenance Technician | Springboro, Ohio
The factory where Wes McGuire used to work, painting steel for automotive parts, is just one of many that has shut down in this part of Ohio.
"Everyone's gotten numb to all the factories closing," says McGuire, speaking of those outside the industrial belt. "It's hurting around here. But nobody cares anymore."
Determined not to get left behind, McGuire got a grant to go back to school and got certified as a maintenance technician. A week after graduating, he landed a job at Cobasys, a company that makes hybrid batteries for the auto industry.
"The work's exciting," says McGuire, a member of IUE-CWA Local 84755. "We're using cutting-edge technology. And I'm proud to be working here. You're not just doing your job and going home. We're achieving something. We're changing the United States for the better."
Like the rest of auto industry, Cobasys is going through some rough times. But McGuire thinks the advanced battery field is here to stay.
"Look, the government's mandating better mileage, so unless you come up with a totally new engine, with batteries they're going to come up to spec faster. Plus it burns cleaner. It's better for the planet."
McGuire and his wife plan to buy a hybrid car themselves when she graduates from teacher's college. "I'm not sure which one," he says. "She's kind of picky."
last revised 6/11/2009
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