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Friday, December 19, 2008

Portrait of an American Factory Worker

If she didn't have her factory job, she doesn't know what she would do for a living.

When you buy American-made products, you not only support the American economy, you help millions of factory workers across the country. These people depend on their jobs for money to buy food and shelter, to help raise their families and as a way to get affordable medical benefits.

Fifty-three-year-old Patty Nerad is one of those workers.

Patty has worked at her factory job in Sedalia, MO, for almost 20 years. Because of her steady job and reliable paycheck, the divorced mother of two was able to raise her children on her own, purchase a small house and live a simple, but comfortable life.

A typical workday for Patty begins by getting up at 2:30 a.m., then driving 45 minutes to be at work at 4 a.m., putting in a 10-hour day and driving 45 minutes home. Not a life many people would envy or respect, but it's one Patty has grown accustomed to. If she didn't have her job, she doesn't know what she would do for a living, especially at her age in the small community where she lives. (In her younger years, she dreamed of being a cosmetologist.)

"I live a simple life," Patty says. "I don't ask for much and just hope I can pay for what I need. And I try to keep my needs small."

Patty's attitude about life is one of thankfulness and appreciation for what she does have. This year she is happy to be able to buy Christmas gifts for her two grandsons.

"Life is about the here and now. I just think of today and when it's done, then I go onto another day," she says. "And I feel lucky for having that."

It is for Patty and others like her that I am maintaining this blog. We must support our American brothers and sisters who work diligently in our factories by buying the quality products they make.

We can make American stronger one purchase at a time.

Let's also remember to support our American car makers -- GM, Chrysler, Ford. Keep Detroit and other areas across our nation going strong.


  1. What a lesson we can learn from this woman....hard work, humility and gratitude. Sounds like the recipe for a simple, satisfying life. Just we need in this age. Thanks for the profile, Kenda!

  2. Thanks for reading, Katy. Patty is my sister and she has come a long way in her life.