Laura Wolf-Powers is a Ph.D. candidate in urban planning and policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Policy, Rutgers University. She and Ann Markusan are co-authors of A Just Transition: Lessons From Defense Workers' Experience in the 1990's.
Given the robust economy of recent years and President Clinton's avowed commitment to defense conversion and worker retraining, you might assume that displaced defense workers did rather well in the 1990s. They didn't. A majority of the nearly one million workers displaced over the past decade now work at jobs that pay less than their former jobs.