When Low Wages Aren’t Enough Anymore: Prospects for Remote Branch Plant Regions in the International Economy

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Paper highlights lack of competition that rural communities provide given out-sourcing and low-wage production sites in developing nations.

Report warns that National trade policies and passage of NAFTA are likely to further destabilize rural economies vis-a-vis manufacturing branch plants.

Policy recommendations include establishing pilot training programs to assist local communities in developing an understanding of large employers; research and discuss shared capacity among practitioners and state and local recruitment professionals; construction of system in which local service delivery agencies and state economic development directors can discuss issues of implementation of strategically-informed branch plant retention; the construction of a federal-level forum in which state development organizations experienced in working with branch plants, firm representatives, and federal program directors, can discuss the program modifications and resource commitments required to provide life-long learning opportunities and modernization options for branch plants.

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