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Employers and residents fight adversity to build a stronger future

By Luo Wangshu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-23 08:41

Residents of Yancheng, Jiangsu province, who lost their homes and small holdings in the tornado have not only suffered financial losses, but they also face a future full of fear.

To ease their plight, both financial and psychological, local companies have made a point of hiring more people.

Dai Yuanjun, head of Jiangsu Taoyuan Family Decorations Co, opened a new workshop near a relocation center in Sheyang county, a convenient location for local people.

Sheyang, on the northern outskirts of Yancheng was badly hit by the tornado on June 23 last year. The relocation center is a gathering place for those who lost their homes.

"About 11 people are working on site, and others take materials from the workshop and work at home," Dai said.

The family business produces and sells knitted items, including curtains, wallpaper and rugs, made from natural materials, such as bamboo fibers and twine made from corn husks or hemp.

It only takes a few days to learn to use a knitting machine, according to Dai.

Zhou Yonghua's house and farmland were badly damaged by the twister. She started work on-site earlier this year, knitting curtains. Now the 60-year-old can earn 70 to 100 yuan ($10 to 14) a day, depending on how quickly she works.

"I learned to use the knitting machine in just a few days, less than a week," she said. Two people are required to operate the machine, and Zhou and her partner make 15-meter-long curtains, producing a meter an hour.

For two months, Dai provided each new worker with a subsidy of 600 yuan a month while they learned the trade and honed their skills.

Lu Hua, owner of the Lyuhe peach farm in Sheyang, has also hired locals on his farm, which was destroyed by the tornado. First, he employed about 20 local workers to undertake reconstruction work, and as the peach harvest period approached, he hired more people to pick the fruits.

Mei Ruyuan began working on the farm about a month after the tornado hit. The 66-year-old laborer earns 2,100 yuan a month for ensuring that the curtains of the greenhouses are rolled up in the morning and lowered again at night.

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