No longer work away from home, as home is a good place to work
“Clinking…” At 4:30p.m., Anhui Shengshi High-tech Rail Transportation Equipment Co., Ltd, at the Chahe Development Zone in Laian County, Chuzhou City of Anhui Province, rang the off-duty bell right on time. Worker Fang Chuanming turned off the machines, and headed home on an electric bike with his wife who also works in the factory.
After 10 minutes, the couple arrived home at about the same time as their son, who came back from kindergarten.
"Mom! Today, my teacher praised me for my good singing!" Seeing his mother, the child happily spoke about his day at kindergarten. Seeing the smiling face of their child every day after work is the happiness the Fang couple looks forward to in their ordinary life. The constantly accelerating integration of the Yangtze River Delta made this a reality.
Chahe Town of Laian County in Anhui Province is 13.5 kilometers away from the Jiangbei New District of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province. The geographical connection created a natural relation between the two places. In 2015, the newly-married Fang couple moved to Nanjing for work. To cut down expenses, they rented a room of 20 square meters in Jiangning District. After their son was born, the couple could only leave the baby behind in their hometown.
“At the time, Chahe River Bridge hadn’t opened to traffic. We needed to take the subway, two transit buses, and then a taxi to go home. Every Friday night when we got home, our son was already asleep. Every Monday morning before he awoke, we had to quietly slip away,” says Fang. At the time, they went home twice a month. Every time when they left their child, his wife would cry silently. If their son got sick, they would be even more anxious.
As their child reached the age to attend kindergarten, the couple thought about heading home. After some research, Fang realized that the small town of Chahe has transformed into a “small city” with well developed industries and complete supporting facilities.
Since ancient times, Chahe has shared the same river water with Nanjing. The two regions are connected, and the people are close. Since its inclusion into an provincial economic development zone in 2009, of the 563 enterprises in the Chahe Economic Development Zone, over 80% are from Nanjing. On average, over 5,000 people from Nanjing come to Chahe to work every day, with 28,000 vehicles travelling between the two places. Chahe also transports 120 tons of vegetables and fruits to Nanjing each day.
At last, the Fang couple decided to work at Shengshi High-tech, an enterprise from Nanjing. In 2011, since business development entered fast track, the original scale could no longer meet the company’s production requirement, and the enterprise decided to move from Nanjing to Chahe Economic Development Zone altogether.
“Initially, we came back mainly for our child, but we didn’t realize the salary in our hometown is already this high.” At the new company, Fang is still doing his old work of handling CNC milling machines. While the work is still the same, the income has increased, to 7,000 to 8,000 yuan per month. Fang’s wife became a warehouse keeper in the factory. Saving additional expenditure on rent and transportation, the quality of their family life is continuously increasing.
With good jobs, hospitals, and schools right at home, many people from Chahe who worked away made the same choice like Fang—returning home for work. In addition, more people from Nanjing are coming to Chahe to work—more than 4,000 senior corporate managers and high-skilled talents in Chahe are from Nanjing. The contribution rate of scientific and technological innovation to the local economic growth exceeds 60%.
“I don’t have to work away from home anymore, our hometown is already a great place to work!” When thinking about the future, Fang smiled. A smile that is simple and full of hope.
Contributed by: Ma Rongrui, reporter of Guangming Daily; Miao Zhuxin, correspondent of Guangming Daily[ Editor: JYZ ]