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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Business

Brooks Blanton

Atlanta, GA

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State of the Union’s Jobs

January 25, 2011 - 2:43 PM | by: Brooks Blanton

In 2011, President Obama is expected to focus on unemployment, job creation and American competitiveness in the global market — a theme that dominates this year’s State of the Union Address.  But some critics question the President’s track record, when it comes to helping unemployed workers and businesses struggling in the worst recession in decades.

The State of Missouri has often been called a political and economic bellwether – a barometer of how the entire country is faring.  I traveled with Fox News Senior National Correspondent John Roberts and Photographer Dutch Wargo to Fenton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, hit hard after Chrysler shut down operations two years ago.  When the gates closed, thousands of jobs were lost and a local economy was devastated.  We tracked down a few former Chrysler workers in Missouri to see if they found new jobs after being let go in 2008 and 2009.  Several have found new jobs – although some are making less than half of their Chrysler salaries.  Still others, despite going through state-sponsored retraining programs and applying to countless job postings, still can’t find work.

We also wanted to see how companies in this region are rebounding from the multi-year recession.  Ehrhardt Tool and Machine Company, which makes specialized machines for manufacturers, sits across the Mississippi River from St. Louis in Granite City, Illinois.  They had to eliminate jobs when the recession hit, but also turned to automation as a way to compete in a global economy.  Ehrhardt CEO Bob Roseman says American industry can compete with foreign companies in manufacturing.  He just wants the government to get out of the way.

Click below to see what former autoworkers hope the President will do this year:

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Click here to see Ehrhardt Tool and Machine CEO Bob Roseman’s plan to bring manufacturing jobs back:

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