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March 9th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Would you move 1000 miles for your job?

By Bob Ruff, CNN

(CNN) – What would you do if your company closed its doors, but offered you the same job 1000 miles away?

In December 2008, in the depths of the recession, GM worker Steve Kerl faced that same question. Just 8 years from retirement, his GM assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin was shut down. 1,933 workers were out of work.

“What are we going to do?” was Kerl’s first reaction. “Are we going to have our health care? How are we going to come out? We didn’t even know if you were going to have a job.”

Most of the Janesville plant workers took buyouts. But 545 of them were fortunate enough to be offered jobs at other GM plants. The catch? The plants are hundreds of miles from Wisconsin.

What would you do?

Kerl took a job putting fenders on GM SUV’s in Arlington, Texas. It’s hard work. At the end of his 10-hour shifts he goes back to bunk with two other GM workers in a three-bedroom apartment near the plant. Home is 1000 miles away.

Kerl’s wife and two teenage kids remain behind in Janesville. The Kerls didn’t want to take the kids out of school. And they couldn’t face the prospect of selling their house anyway with real estate prices plummeting.

The Kerl family, along with many others who worked at GM in Janesville, is yet another side of the recession. Families physically separated by economic circumstances beyond their control. The sacrifice is palpable.

“In the last couple of months, “ he told us, “I missed all of my daughter’s gymnastics meets. I missed her birthday…I missed my boy’s birthday. So [these] are things you’re never going to get back. You know, that’s gone.”

The sacrifice is spread evenly throughout the family.

“Steve will talk to me on the phone,” his wife, Kristy, told us, “and, you know, get me through it. Hang in there. And then there’s the days that calls come in that he’s like, you know what, I’m not doing this anymore. You know, I want to come home. And I’m like, no! Hang in there!”

Jenessa, their teenage daughter, says it’s “really hard…I mean, what other 16-year-old doesn’t want their Dad around? He’s always been the one that’s at the meets, and always there for support. “

Jeramie Kerl, 19, is their son: “When Dad left I kind of had to assume most of the responsibilities that he did, the outside work…mowing the grass, which he took care of.”

In the midst of all of this, the Kerls have literally opened their Janesville home to the 16-year-old daughter of another former Janesville plant worker and his wife, both of whom have moved to work at an Indiana GM plant. Steve introduced us to Grace, who is Jenessa’s friend. Everyone wanted Grace to be able to finish her sophomore year before moving to Indiana.

“We like to have her here,” says Steve.

As we finished the interview with the Kerls, Steve told us the separation has been too much. They’re moving to Texas. The house just sold, at a loss, and they hope to be together near Arlington before the end of the summer.

As we watched Steve pack for the long trip back to Texas, we saw him trying to figure out a way to squeeze a hunk of Wisconsin cheese into his packed suitcase.

“This will always be our home,” he said.

“You’ll never take Wisconsin out of us,” added Kristy. “We’ll return some day.”

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (384 Responses)
  1. Mary

    People have been migrating to greener pastures ever since they had legs. Our family endured a 450 mile separation for two years and when this came up again, we opted to move to stay together. Having done it both ways, I recommend moving. Your kids will make friends much faster than you will. But in the end, being together is better than being apart.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  2. Ed

    It's hard to believe that American fellows suffer so much during the recession. Here, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, we could hardly feel any impact of the recession thanks to the rich natural resources we have. Jobs are not a problem at all. I've never heard any of my friends who don't have a job! So American fellows, why not come here and try your luck? Mind you the only advantage of this city is that it is very cold in the winter time.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  3. David Martin

    Mr. Kerl,
    Kudos to you. It takes a lot of dedication to be away from you're family for long periods of time. I wish you well and I hope everything in you're life turns out well in the near future. You deserve the best. If i was away from my family/loved ones for that long I dont know what I would do. Mad props to you

    March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  4. Sam

    2 years ago, I was out of work and took a job 4 hours from my home. I lived near work during the week, and lived at home on the weekends. It was supposed to be a 6-month contract, but I ended up being on contract for 2 years. About the time that I was trying to sell my house and move my family closer to work, I found out that my wife was having an affair. She left me, and I had to take care of my 4 kids while still commuting to work every week (thankfully my parents were able to drive 2000 miles to come take care of my kids during the week). The day I finally sold my house, they also cancelled my contract. So I moved the 2000 miles back to CA, and now I live with my parents and my 4 children in their home. But at least I'm working now.

    It'd be easy to blame lots of other people. My old boss for letting me go for no reason. My wife for cheating. Her boyfriend for not leaving her alone. The government for making the housing market collapse possible, or the banks for facilitating it. Or people in general for being stupid enough to think that credit = free money. But that's not really going to help me out now, so I just do what I need to do and keep moving forward.

    That's all any of us can really do.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  5. Vincent Salgado

    My parents worked two jobs each just to make ends meet. So we didn't have alot of time for family togethers and sporting events. Living in the middle of a big citiy, the principle focus of the family was survival. Everything else was a luxury. Although I understand this fellow's angst about not being with his kids for key events, at least he has a job to support them. There are many millions of others who don't.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  6. Matt j

    This is a silly story. Those of you that "just can't move" need to wake up. You lost a lot on your house? guess what, its gone. it isn't coming back any time soon. Are you going to commute 1000 miles for the next ten years? Who's guaranteeing what the market price will be then? Oh but your kids are in school and don't want to leave their friends. Guess what kids, you're going to leave your friends eventually anyways (college, first job, etc) better get good at making new ones!

    When I was a kid we moved a lot. As a result, you're right, I don't have any life long friends that I went to preschool with. On the other hand, we had family dinners every night. We had money for family vacations. We got to see a lot of the world. I think its an even trade. Not as dire as it sounds. So my advice: Bit the bullet and move!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  7. Michael

    I feel for all the families who have been hit by the economy like this, but our military families have been living like this – seperated for months at time, missing birhtdays, christmases, sports meets. It is a tough life, and I understand what they are going through better than most.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  8. ex-Long Distance Commuter

    I commuted nearly 400 miles each for for nearly four years when I lost my job. My wife was reluctant to relocate so I made the commute. I lost my wife over it. DON'T DO IT is the only message I can send. Relocating may be hard but the alternative is far worse. I lost four years of my life and my wife of 17 years for what, a paycheck?

    March 9, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  9. Dave Phillips

    Easy way to bring back jobs to America: American corporations can return the jobs they shipped over-seas.

    Or we can revoke their charters and free up the capital so it can be used within the United States to provide jobs here.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  10. M

    I feel your pain. I moved to Canada for a better opportunity and my family live in Seattle. God Bless!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  11. Richard

    People only over a hundred years ago would leave families for months to treck on foot to find work. today Americans need to realize that not every oppotunity is handed to them, sacrafices have to be made to support a family. this is were Self Reliance comes into to play were people need to do what it takes to support thier family. If it includes traveling to work hundreds of miles, or leaving your family for weeks or months on end then that is what needs to be done if you have to support yourself and a family. remember that military families make the most sacrifices out of all of us, and do it for low pay, and leave thier family for months and years to deploy overseas. People should thank God for what he has provided and be blessed to live in a country with oppurtunities.... even if they are a 1000 miles away.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  12. Steve

    Even though he works for GM, he should drive a Prius. He'll be a lot "greener," and he'll get to work a LOT faster.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  13. Guest

    I feel so bad for people in situations like this family. I am so blessed. I live 7 miles from my job and make more money than I ever thought I would....not too long ago I thought I would never get out of debt and now I'm debt free. God is good!!!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  14. ABC

    My dad was a Navy officer. While he traveled our family lived in one location. One house, one town, one schoolsystem. Dad returned home on leaves every 8-12 months or so. It worked for us. When it comes to providing for your family you do what you have to do.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  15. Thuan

    my family left Vietnam for Houston, TX to work for $4.50 in 1991 ......... i finally went back to Vietnam for the 1st time in Nov 2009 ........ it was a special moment .......... i know there are people in worst situation than I am ....... that is why I do not complain

    March 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  16. john

    people do this sort of thing all the time.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  17. Edward

    So what's the big problem? I moved several times in my career to go where the work is. It was difficult to uproot the family but in the end, it was an excellent learning experience that helped us grow as people and learn how other parts of the country work. We made it a positive influence in our lives, not a negative. The days of being born, raised and dying in the same city are gone. We only restrict ourselves when we can't open our minds to something new. Go where the work is and thank goodness, GM offered you a chance to keep your job and benefits. I put steering shafts in GM cars and yes, it was hard work but honest work.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  18. Canadian Mike

    People have been moving and travelling for their jobs for decades..... Why is this news. What... to make people feel bad for them. At least they have jobs. And correct me if i'm wrong would he not also get travel pay being in a union. I have been travelling for years now.. i get paid well for it. So you had to sell your house only to move to antother city. what about the people who move out of their house only to move into the streets. this self loaving will not help your economy.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  19. onleamirage

    Hang in there and keep up the good work. I'm sure it's hard but at least there's still some money coming in. You'll be just fine... great work ethic!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  20. d poll

    Not front page news. This sort of economic family seperation is everywhere, across the economic scale. From high priced IT consultants to illegal migrant workers. While I feel some compasion for their plight, they have it soft in comparisons to Philipino legal migrant workers leaving their families behind to work in other nations.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  21. Ali

    Well. Why don't we accept this: For benefiting capitalism as a whole and creating more profit, we need to screw family, freindship, love, closeness, home and move whereever the jobs are. I really don't understand this, why do we care so much about progress and advancements for higher standards of living and more things? People in the villages of Greece, France, Italy, Turkey and Iran have life expectancies very close to people live in the Los Angelese, California in the United States of AMerica. So why should we care so much about progress, technology, and higher standard of liveing so that we sacrifies family, love, and home to get a better paying job.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  22. we

    We've been doing this for 3 years. It's hard. The kids suffer too, with one parent carrying the load of 'to do's" and then when dad comes home it's playing catch up-fixing things around the house and what not, letting mom catch her breath. We're finally moving the kids school and selling the house at a loss at the end of this school year. And still, that's hard too! We're ready for at least a short vacation or a small break. I just can't tell you how hard it is-like when I (mom) broke my foot-no help, no one to watch the baby so I could go to the ER. Making dinner on pain killers with one foot on the counter. It;s the things you don't plan on that make it really rough.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  23. Capitalist

    I give this gentleman credit for the fact he decided to take teh job instead of just saying well it is too far away. However, I just wonder how hard of a job he had prior to this being able to make it to his kids school plays, events and all weekends home. When I grew up my dad only worked 15 miles from our home, however it was 7 days a week, 365. I remember all two vacations we had while he had to work this just too keep a roof over our head in a old coal mining community in PA. As for having to travel so far, like many of the military people have said here it is tough but at least no one is shooting at you and when you get off of your shift you can go home and call your wife/family. Try doing that while your deployed in an active zone.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  24. adrifter

    Obviously, CNN doesn't know what the word 'commute' means. Commute means a daily trip to and from work. You know, there's a book printed that contains definitions of words. It's called a dictionary.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  25. J

    My wife and I are in a similar situation. I was laid-off from my job in the Chicago metro area last year. There weren't any similar jobs in the area so I had to relocate to the Los Angeles area back in August. It's rough, but we are getting by. I only get to see my wife every 6-8 weeks.....I wish I could see her every weekend like this guy does! That would make the situation much more tolerable.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  26. J.

    And all the politicians want to do is beat the other party. As long as this kind of stuff is going on in Washington nothing will get fixed.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  27. russ

    I have been commuting 500 miles to my job for over 4 years now.
    You do what you have to do.
    In 2007-2008 i saw my wife a total of maybe 20 days.
    In 2009 i saw her on my vacations only.
    I saw my grand kids twice in 2 years.
    I can completly understand what he is going through.


    March 9, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  28. mirabila

    My husband and I have had a commuting marriage for the past 15 months. He was laid-off from his position in TN. A month later, he found a job in Iowa. I commuted between our house and Iowa so that I could spend some time with him. It wasn't easy, but we did what we had to do.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  29. Anthony

    Nicholas said "Already have, moved but still looking for work.

    Should put a LOT more govt workers and politicians out of work.
    Should put a LOT more USA SELLOUT business types in jail !
    Should shut down immigration and hire A LOT more border patrol agents !"

    OK, blame capitalism. And I highly doubt you'd take the jobs the immigrants you're probably referring to (illegals) "steal" from you. If you want to be a brick layer or roofer, custodian or bus boy, I doubt you need to commute.

    I don't see a lot of illegals as working professionals in Texas.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  30. wms

    Wow. I am fortunate. I travel 7 miles one way to work.
    I am spoiled.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  31. Kim G

    We live in Kansas City. My husband worked in Springfield for 6 years. He drove there every week, leaving Sunday night or early Monday morning, and coming back on Friday evenings. We still had a young one at home. I am now ashamed at considering that a hardship compared to what other families are now having to contend with. I offer them prayers for strength and faith. Thanks for sharing this story; I'm sure it's just one of many.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  32. eilis_artis

    Over 30 years ago my husband was informed that he would need to either travel around the country or move every few years to keep his job and advance his career. We made the decision that he would travel for work but we would keep our home in NJ. Our son was a toddler and our daughter arrived about 2 years later. My husband was gone most weeks from Sunday through Friday. I was a 'married single parent'. My husband had some control over his travel so he could arrange to be home for important events. We talked nightly and family celebrations were held on the weekends. I'm sure we all suffered to a degree but we learned that sometimes you have to make sacrifices. You either adapt or make changes, we chose to adapt.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  33. Roberta

    The closing of the GM plant meant a loss of 4000 jobs in Janesville. Only 2500 of those jobs were at the GM plant itself. GM workers had sub pay while unemployed, buy outs and opportunities to transfer to other GM plants. The other 1500 people were not so lucky though those working for Lear did have extended unemployment because of a previous layoff that was deemed due to foreign competition. I'm sorry but as a longtime Rock County resident I feel little sympathy for the GM employees who at least have a job. I am more concerned what is going to happen soon when the non GM unemployed in this city of 64,000 hit the end of their unemployment benefits because there are no jobs here.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  34. Burhan

    It doesn't sound like he is "commuting", but is just working in another location, CNN, please try to use more exact language rather than try to ramp up the melodrama.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  35. William

    I've had to move to another country even farther away from home to stay in work. The island i've moved to is primitive, and my family and girlfriend are all the way back home in the states. Life can be rough, but i'm happy that i have a job unlike most of my college friends.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  36. Bill

    Great to see someone roll up their sleeves to make ends meet ( even though it's not ideal) vs. demanding government entitlements. Bravo to the Kerl family for keeping the hard work attitude alive in US.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  37. Michael G.

    I don't know how people live like this. Maybe if I was single I wouldn't mind, but having a family I couldn't bare being gone that much. Life is too short to spend that much of it miserable locked in a windowless factory away from your family. If I was this guy I would've taken the buyout, sold the house and huge gas guzzling suv they showed him driving, rented a small duplex for the family for a couple years while I went back to tech school for nursing, pta, radiography, or some other medical field job that only takes a couple years of traning and pays well, and then find a job in the place I actually want to live. It would've been a sacrifice but in the long run would be better. Who knows if the GM plant in Texas will be around in ten years?

    March 9, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  38. Terry W.

    This is what happens when you have Democrats & Republicans not working together – a mess. Our elected officials need to work for better solutions to unemployement, economy and so on. Maybe if we start beliving in small business and keep good jobs here – Mr. Kerl wouldn't have to work 1,000 miles away from his family. We need leadership like that candidate in New Jersey running for Congress. I think his name is Kenneth Cody. I saw a youtube video and he's spot on in his thinking. I feel bad for Mr. Kerl

    March 9, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  39. Asher

    Really touching !
    As a matter of fact, that's the way LIFE is, full of joys and sorrows. They took this migration as their paving way to hard days of life.
    If good days gone, bad will also gone.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  40. Dick S.

    From 1987 to 1999 I commuted once a week from DC to Miami for a four day work-week. As other responders noted, this is nothing new. BUT I do applaud stories like this because they give individual families under this long distance commuting stress a better, healthier sense of how many other families are doing the same thing!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  41. Andy

    I feel you pain. My wife and I have been seperated for a 3 years. She came home, lost my job, and she had to go back. She recently had an affair while away from home because she was so lonely. She would have never done it, if she was home. Our 23-year mariage is about over.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  42. RGA

    Move? Yes, wherever work is. If the company is interviewing people from other states, that means they cannot find one local to fill in the position.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  43. Janine Graney

    Hello! Reading all the comments makes my heart ache for families that are split apart due to their jobs.

    Every time I go to purchase groceries, I have to watch my spending and can't imagine how I would buy even the staple items without a job.
    I have worked for 38 years at the same place, may not make big $ but cannot say enough about how important family bonding is to me so I chose that over a better salary and no savings. Good luck to all!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  44. Connie

    He should be happy he could transfer. And why is it that not wanting to move the "kids" out of school would make a difference? If my husband had to transfer, me and the kids would be too. Its called being a "family". The house will eventually sell, do what you have to do to keep the family together. Military people do this all the time. The boo hooing the JVL GM plant workers have done is enough. Move on. You still have a job. Enough with the crying already.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  45. Christina

    I understand that the separation is hard.. I don't know if I could do it.. But it sounds more like days of years past when husbands would leave their family to work the railroad for a while to get money to send back.

    The question here is... Are we strong enough now to make it through?

    March 9, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  46. Bill

    Born and raised in a slumped Buffalo economy for the past 25 years, I am not far behind you Mr. Kerl. Good luck and thank you for making the tough choices that make a difference.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  47. Todd A

    @ Sherry. I can't believe how insensitive and stupid your comment is. GM didn't "offer" him a job. He exercised senority rights under his union contract between the UAW and GM. and it means that someone with less senority at the Arlington Texas plant lost their job.

    The fact that this guy was willing to try to make a dysmal situation work is very admirable. I don't think I could ever be apart from my wife and son for any length of time. He was being very selfless by attempting to allow his children to continue living in their hometown and by letting them attend their familiar schools.

    One hell of a man if you ask me.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  48. CeeJay

    I'm working in NY and my husband lives and works in Ohio. We are empty nesters and have had to do this to survive. Like other people, we live in between the rock and hard place. Can't sell the house (for any return on investment at least), don't know when we will be living together again. At this point in our lives, living apart was NOT where we thought we would be. You do have to go where the work is, no doubt but isn't it a symptom of our times? If I had another choice to stay where I was, I would have. Period.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  49. Damon

    Nothing wrong with working in another state either. The last time I checked the USA was land of the free? We are all americans and need to survive.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  50. rob

    Wow. This is nothing new. I commuted for nearly 3 years from Atlanta to St Louis and Minnesota. Many people are doing this and have been doing this for years. Slim job prospects have been prevalent for several years now. Until we stop sending jobs overseas and bringing in people from overseas to take jobs here, this will continue. Consumers drive the USA economy and taking jobs from consumers will drive the economy down.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  51. Dick

    One option is to get a web camera and download Skype on your computer. The calls are free to other Skype users and you get to see each other's faces. It's tough but that 's one option to lessen the pain. I know its hard because my family lives half way around the world in New Zealand and I miss them very much.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  52. Damon

    I have been doing this for 17 years so his situation is nothing new to me. my commute is 1500 miles with a 2 week on and off schedule so I miss alot of things. you do what you have to do to survive.....

    March 9, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  53. Hunter

    Why is this on CNN? This is so common that I have two friends: one who NOW commutes regularly over 800 miles to work and one who did so less than two years ago. I have a client who took a job more than 2000 miles from his home on the West coast and flew home for the weekends. This is common. It happens everywhere all the time. It's part of the job market. It is non-news.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  54. Jarrod Ranney

    I work outside of Washington, DC and live in Bear, DE for a daily commute of about 100 miles each way and four hours total driving each day. The only thing that hurts is buying gas 3 – 4 times per week and monthly oil changes.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  55. Mike C

    Add me to the list. Since August I have been working in DC, but the wife, youngest child (a HS senior), and the house are in Austin, TX. Been very tough only being with them every 3rd or 4th weekend, but am looking forward to "sometime" this summer when the house is sold and we are all together on a new page!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  56. Matthew Mueller

    Why not wait til your 30s to get married and have kids? You end up saving a lot of money over those 10 extra years and you don't have to feel trapped in one place to the point where you have to make rediculous life changes just to pay the bills. This guy is definitely not in his 20s so I understand completely, but if you put yourself in good financial standing at a young age then you wont have to make such large concessions later on in life.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  57. Heather

    Though I sympathize with these people in being away from their loved ones, I can't feel too utterly sorry for them. Try having a husband/loved one deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan (which is what I have, right now for the 5th year in the last 9 years). THAT is something that is unbearable. You get to see your family every weekend, and your kids are nearly grown.

    Buck up people, it's not forever. At least you have a job that provides you with healthcare and your family with a home.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  58. guy

    i had to do this... my family is in atlanta, but i found a job in DC... renting two places was expensive and almost totally unprofitable, but at least it got me out of unemployment; my company let me transfer to their atlanta office after six months... i'm so grateful that they did, but i took the job without that being guaranteed...

    March 9, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  59. katwoman12981

    My husband travels every week from Texas to California. You do what you can when you have a family to support.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  60. anonymous

    It's a tough world out there, because of the economy. To all you naysayers, these are people that sacrifice to raise their families, they struggle, they do what they can to survive. May the Creator bless all of you who have to make these choices, and I pray that someday, life will get easier for you. They need our blessings, not our condemnation.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  61. Jack

    Gee, that must suck. Missing birthdays, ballet recitals, basketball games, etc... It must suck to be so far away from you loved ones because your job calls for it.

    Oh wait. That's what hundreds of thousands of Americans are doing every day – much further away and for much less pay in a uniform.

    Not saying that this guy doesn't miss his family, but let's try to get a little perspective on the issue.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  62. John

    Since January, I have been commuting 1,465 miles from San Francsico to Dallas. I live in Dallas during the week and fly home on the weekends.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  63. Nicholas

    michael armstrong sr.

    Good point ! But what about immigration legal or illegals ? something wrong BIG TIME about that !

    Did you know that ever since the bearing land bridge existed(doesn't anymore) 1/3 of all who have settled in North America have come since 1965 !? Yes that's 1965 !

    I don't think they were Eskimos and even if immgration wasn't BROKE they couldn't handle that !

    Got rule of law ?

    March 9, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  64. Peanuts

    1000 miles? it's not like he drives this both ways every day. He is mostly flying, and he doesn't do it every day... nothing to see here, move along. I fly every month from the East Coast of NA to Australia for work – 20000 miles return and I have colleagues who fly much much more than that... not sure how this is 'news'.

    March 9, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  65. George M.

    The right to transfer to another plant is a UAW negotiated benefit, Corporate Seniority. However, what effect did it have on the employee with less seniority, (who also has a family to support, making less of a current base wage) and is now laid off?? What are his/her job opportunities?? ...get on the Government dole. When his COBRA runs out, how will he pay for health insurance when there is no income? Hope the children are healthy. His unemployment is no where near what his weekly wage was. Quit outsourcing jobs to foreign countries. 'Made in USA' keeps people who want to work employed. But then again, just my opinion.

    March 9, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  66. jack

    I can't move. First of all, my wife has put in many years at her job and is only just a few years from reaching her full pension. Second, I grew up living all over this country. My father moved his family all over because he just couldn't settle down in one place, he just wasn't happy anywhere. I'm tired of moving all my childhood, this is home. I WILL NOT put my family through that. This is our final home. Finally, my youngest has medical issues that he is finally getting help for, all his needs are being addressed- medically and educationally. We can't go through restarting somewhere else and it's not fair for my to try and take care of our son alone. This is our final stop, come what may- good or bad!

    March 9, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  67. kent, NJ

    Absolutely you should move to keep a good job. This is a no brainer. It's that or wal mart the cheap employer.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  68. Robert Bechtel

    I travel 3200 hundred miles every week I am a longhaul truckdriver. I am out on the road 3 to 8 weeks at a time before I can get a load home . So I know about not being home to see my daughters grow up. But that is what we have to do to pay the bills and eat . I how they feel. I have missed alot of things over the years and will missmany more things. At lest you can move your family to your new plant I can not the road is my office.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  69. Harold Moss

    :Yes, I would do 1,000 miles. It's tough but today you do what you have to do to get a job and feed your family.
    My wilfe and I have been living in hotels for the past two years because of my work situation. I went from a permanent position to a contract consultant – just were not any jobs at the time so I took a contract position. That contract ran out so I was assigned to another contract in another city. I just had a contract come to a close and at this point have no positions/jobs lined up so I am unemployed. I have no health insurance and my wife has seizure attacks, must have expensive med's to control them. I'm looking as hard and fast as I can job searching. Could it be a 1,000 mile commute? Maybe. You do what you have to do. So if there is anyone out there who needs a highly experienced manufacturing and Quality Assurance manager/director PLEASE send me an e-mail message. I'm now in the ranks of the unemployed and I understand and feel for guys like th is. He has a wonderful family to support and I admire his grit.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  70. Mike McKeown

    You have to go where the job is........
    If you can commute, fine. If not, one must consider relocating.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  71. michael armstrong sr.

    Just something seems wrong about people intruding into other states taking jobs from the people that reside there .

    March 9, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  72. fabian amaro

    Everyone replying is stating that they had to moveand sell houses.I'm talking about railroad employees who drive twice a week to make a paycheck not fly or ride trains once every two weeks, yes we are home for a few hours then turn around driving back so there are people who do more commuting on a weekly basis.people have done this for many years truckdrivers for instance but you don't hav e them on news.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  73. Bob Garner

    I lost my job in Atlanta 4 years ago and accepted a job in Fairfield CT. My wife tells people that I live in seat 14A on Delta Air Lines. Monday mornings I fly from Atlanta to Westchester airport, pick up a rental car and I am in the office by noon. I live in an apartment in CT and return to my family in Atlanta every second weekend. It is very hard to be separated from my wife and daughter. My "honey do" list keeps growing and I barely dent it when I am home. My daughter graduated from colledge last summer and moved back home so my wife is not alone. My daughter has learned taken over the routine repairs around the house including draining and flushing the hot water tank.
    An example of the added stress is the time that I was talking my daughter step by step through the hot water tank flushing process and my cell phone dropped the call... just when she was reaching in to light the pilot flame. I thought Oh My God, she blew up the house, I finally re-connected and she yelled "Why did you hang up on me?". All was fine, and she went on to finish my chores.
    I know that the only thing that get's us through this situation is our stong family bond.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  74. Pat Zosel

    It is interesting how peoples attitudes about home, moving... vary from place to place in our country. I was born in Montana lived in Oregon, California, Washington, Alaska and Georgia. My observation is that people associated with the Military or have gone to college tend to be way more trampy (logging term) than the other half. I am 60 and would have to say I would not give up any of those experiences but would not want to move again. My oldest son moved 17 times form birth to entering college. With the exception of my daughter all our kids went to just one High School. I have been married for 40 years and my kids live from Ga. to Or.
    I guess my point is you are a product of you childhood. Our family has always chased work and most have served in the military and are 90 percent college educated.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  75. kimura

    My husband and I did just that. From Redlands California to Ogden Utah. Never in our life did we think about leaving our families to follow the job. We missed the birth of a granddaughter who later died. Almost missed the birth of another grandson. Missed all the hoildays this pasted year. So yes we would and did for my husband's job. California will always be home but for now we live in Utah.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  76. Jonathan

    OK, let us see . . . On September 6, 2008 I left Atlanta (and my family) and moved 1,700 to North Dakota. I am a native of Alabama mind you. and there is a subtle climate difference. I now work in the oilfields of one of the grandests/hottest oil plays in North America. Truly, I do not get to see my family and friends that often, but we have seen and done a lot over the years. I think of all the service men and women who sacrifice a lot more with less opportunity to visit home and perhaps less compensation, so I complain in no way. Being here (in ND) provides an opportunity, not only financial, but also socially in that it harkens back to the spirits and ideals that built this country, adventure, pioneering and hard work. To have steady and decent employment allows for my family and I to enjoy the American Dream and contribute to society.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  77. Erika

    My husband is currently commuting from northern New York to Florida.As soon as our son graduates from high school in June we'll be moving. We are blessed that he was able to arrange his schedule in 2 week blocks alternating on-site and working remotely from here. While we love it here, there are just no jobs and we are left with no option but to leave our home, family and friends. We are so thankful he has this job-in the current economic climate, it feels like we won the lottery!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  78. LeAn

    People do the same thing they did 40 years ago. I remember when Delta Air Lines pulled out of Asheville, NC in the mid 60's, we had to move. Fortunately it was only to Atlanta, but my parents still had to uproot our family and move.

    This is NOTHING new guys. You go where the job is especially in todays economy.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  79. Franz Joachim

    100 years ago my Grandparents left everything behind in the "old country" to find a better life. They never saw their families again. 50 years ago my father flew 20,000 miles round trip twice a year for twelve years "commuting" to the Vietnam war. We didn't see him for months at a time. 10 years ago my wife and I sold our home in Florida at a loss and moved 2000 miles across country to find better work and better schools for our son. This is not a new story.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  80. Efrain Saenz Jr.

    I was born and raised in Alice, Texas. I moved to New River, Arizona back in 2002 to work . Then I moved to Bossier City, LA to work for another company in 2003. So between those two I have already traveled over 2,000 miles and have still had to travel for work a few times after only to end up right back in Alice, Texas. I am a certified crane operator who works in the oifield and am always having to "follow the work" so to speak. I am also a part time casting agent for a video promotions company based out of Boone, Iowa and that requires that I travel from east coast to west coast to work. I have also lived near Rock Springs, Wyoming, Smyrna, Georgia and Elk City, Oklahoma. Its really not a question of would you move but more do you move to work or go on unemployment. Everyone is given a choice...I just choose to work and not hurt the economy any more than what most do.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  81. Mark L.

    That has been the story for me for years. I have only worked near my home and my family for a total of approximately 10 months in the past 9 years. To top that off, the IRS no longer allows me to claim my travel expenses directly related to work, stating that I am now considered an itinerant.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  82. fabian amaro

    I just seen the little speacial on that guy who is moving to texas for his job well there are workers that travel that far may be more twice a weekend for a paycheck. I have personally drove up to 20 hours each way twice a week last year to come home and see my wife and kids. Yes the economy is bad however numerous of my co workers are still laid off so I hope he eels.blessed that he atleast has a job to move to.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  83. Barb

    My son lives in Pennsylvania with my oldest granddaughter and his wife and two younger children live 2 doors down from me in southern Minnesota. He works many hours and only gets home every 3 months. It is really tough for all of us. I just wish the economy would get better really soon so he could return to his family here is Minnesota. It is very discouraging.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  84. MAJ Collin K. Keenan

    I certainly understand the inconvenience caused by the closing of the GM plant in Janesville, WI. However, there is a tremendous upside. Arlington, Texas has a far lower cost of living, better weather, no state income taxes and a much more vibrant city atmosphere.

    I too am a fellow cheesehead who was born in Milwaukee, WI and have been stationed in Texas three times (as a member of the US Army). I am currently stationed at the Pentagon in Washington DC. I am proud to say that one day I will set my roots in Arlington once I decide to retire, not back in Milwaukee.

    If the Kurl's need any encouragement they should contact me at this e-mail. Enjoy the new Cowboys football stadium in Arlington, get out to Six Flags and replace the Badger shirts with good ole' "Hook Em' Horns" Texas burnt orange! Enjoy Arlington, I'm jealous that you are there instead of my family. Remember, everything happens for a reason and I'm quite sure that many blessings await your family.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  85. Michelle

    For the past 3 years my family has followed my husband back and forth between two states, trying to keep his high paying job in the oil field. About half of that time he commuted 250 miles a week and was home 2 weekends a month. We have 3 young children, one with disabilitie,s and the strain of these 3 years has taken a huge toll on our family, almost ending our 15 year marriage. Now , after so many missed school plays, birthdays and other milestones we have decided it just isnt worth it. He is looking for a job near our home. He will take a 40-50% pay cut -but you just cant put a price on him being here with us.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  86. Keith

    I just retired from the US Army and can tell you that this story happens every day to thousands of servicemembers. I can't tell you how many holidays and significant events I've missed in my family's life.

    I know it is difficult but I applaude the fact that he is doing what he has to do to support his family. At least nobody is shooting at him!

    March 9, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  87. scott

    This is something Military families are forced to do every year. Every two to three years we are forced to move. We call them "orders".. But heres the new rub, since the housing market collapsed most cant sell their homes. None can just walk away since the bad credit and foreclosure would destroy your security clearence. So they do what we call Geographic Bachelor. This for many happens on the heels of an extended deployment overseas! Add to that the strain of maintaining two residences and you see where Im going, no way out. Its a growing problem that is not talked about.....

    March 9, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  88. Charlene

    My husband, Matthew, has been commuting from Tampa to Miami for over a year and he make his commute weekly of 580 miles. He rents a room in Miami fro a co-worker to keep our expenses low while I maintain the home in Tampa.
    This all occurred following loosing our business due to the recession.
    We had to make major changes in our life.

    Charlene – Tampa FL

    March 9, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  89. orlando

    I feel your pain. As a soldier, I've been away from my family for 7 years. Today, I drive 600 miles for the first time to see my family for only 2 days. Consider yourself lucky, because some of us (Soliders) don't have that option.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  90. Albert

    In the early 90s my family had to pull up stakes in PA so I could accept a job transfer to NC. If I didn't accept the transfer I would have lost a well paying job in a depressed old mill town; so we moved even though we preferred to stay in PA. Fast forward to 2009 – as fate would have it, another job transfer brought us back to our PA hometown in 1998. In 2007 I accepted a job offer from another firm but lost that job due to the recession in 2009. The kids are all grown and out of the house now. So, I would definitely move 1000 miles or more for the right job again.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  91. Michelle

    I can empathize with these families put in such a seemingly untenable position but my husband and I have just made it through our third middle east deployment in seven years of marriage. At least these families have a chance to see their loved one on weekends. On this last deployment, out of 14 months we were able to spend two weeks together. So I say if you have a chance to keep your family whole, do whatever it takes. And remember that no matter how bad it gets for you it could be worse – your loved one could be in a war zone.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  92. Roy

    Yes, I'll move definitely! Consider the time spent and travel expense, from a few hundreds to $1k. That's like the mortgage. Even in this report unfortunately they sold the house for a loss, but sure gain it back on the travel expense and quality family time!
    Kids will get around in new cities easily, though it's tough in the beginning.
    Lucky enough Steve Kerl's income can support the family, many others have to be separated because of holding on their jobs or immigration status.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  93. Jeff

    I commute every week 1,000 miles plus. My company is based in WI but our work takes us all over the country and Canada. I leave for the airport Monday morning and 90% of the time return Friday evening, 360+ days a year. This story isn't that extraordinary. I know many people and have met many people over the years of flying that do the same thing, whether they be salesmen, engineers, techs, etc... Yes we miss a few things with our families but I actually believe my relationships with my wife and kids is better because of my travel, all of our time together is actual quality time.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  94. J. Woodford

    Good Morning: You go where the work is. People get transferred all the time. It stinks and it is difficult to do as a child when you start to get older, but you are with your family. The family your story was about seemed close and able to support whatever decision was made. They will do great in Texas.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  95. Sherry

    Oh gimme a break! At least his company offered him a job in another area. They just don't know how lucky they are. Thousands of workers must take contract work which seperates them from their families for months or years. Oh and get a 1099 at the end of the year so you are responsible for all taxes including SS & Medicare, and NO benefits. Its either that or lose your home, your car, etc. Suck it up – move to your new location and get on with life.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  96. Julie H

    My husband has been commuting from Omaha Nebraska to Michigan for three years. It is a ten hour drive. He had to leave Ford and now works for ConAgra foods. Apparently this is news to you at CNN , but there are hundreds of "work widows" here in Michigan. Our house is appraising for $100,000 less than we owe. We now have one son in college and a daughter in high school. The commuting costs are not tax deductible and we get no help from the company, but in comparison to those who are hungry here and without work, we feel blessed.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  97. Nicholas

    Already have, moved but still looking for work.

    Should put a LOT more govt workers and politicians out of work.
    Should put a LOT more USA SELLOUT business types in jail !
    Should shut down immigration and hire A LOT more border patrol agents !

    March 9, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  98. Navid

    I'm currently doing this. I'm working in Hartford,CT while my wife and family is in Chicago, IL. We get to meet each other after 2 or 3 weeks. It's hard and it sucks...... we have been doing this for the last 7 months !!!

    March 9, 2010 at 7:48 am |
  99. Tracy

    For 2 years, I commuted 2 1/2 to 3 hours one-way to work (Delaware to Washington, DC). Now I still live in Delaware but work 350 miles away outside of Boston (5 hour train ride). Luckily, I'm only required to travel into the office every other week. I can't find a job closer to home in my field.

    More and more people are "extreme commuting." I met them every day during my Delaware-DC commute. Ride any commuter rail system and you'll be amazed at the stories and lengths people go through to get to work.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  100. Johnny Bush

    Only if I had the responsibilities of supporting a family or couldn't afford to retire due to financial comittments.
    However, if I was single and the job transfer was in Maui, most definitely!
    Good Morning John and Kiran! : )

    March 9, 2010 at 6:42 am |
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