Niu and her family have lunch. [Photo/Xinhua]
"In Shenzhen, factories are everywhere, locals can work and live with their families," she says. "I wished my hometown could be like this."
In recent years, labor-intensive industries have begun to move west due to rising labor costs and industrial upgrades in eastern coastal areas. Gansu province took the opportunity to introduce labor-intensive industries, creating huge employment opportunities for locals.
Supported by poverty alleviation policies, Gansu also opened "poverty-relief workshops" to help migrant workers work closer to home.
Niu's dream of working on her doorstep came true in 2018 when a garment factory was established in her township. Sewing skills have long been her forte and Niu immediately applied for a job in the factory.
"Those workshops enable women from rural areas to land a job near their homes, become a breadwinner, and take care of their children," says Zhang Weilin, owner of the workshop.
So far, Gangu county has established 52 such workshops in the countryside, employing over 30,000 workers, including a poor population of nearly 1,000.
Like Niu, 960 working mothers have returned from large cities to find jobs at these workshops, helping reduce the number of children left behind in the county by nearly 1,700.
"Now I can also earn a high income on my doorstep," Niu says with a smile. "More importantly, I can spend more time with my children as they grow up. It is the happiest thing."