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After the Factory

Reinventing America's Industrial Small Cities

by James J. Connolly Editor · Janet R. Daly Bednarek Contributor


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The most pressing question facing the small and mid-sized cities of America's industrial heartland is how to reinvent themselves. Once-thriving communities in the Northeastern and Midwestern U. S. have decayed sharply as the high-wage manufacturing jobs that provided the foundation for their prosperity disappeared. A few larger cities had the resources to adjust, but most smaller places that relied on factory work have struggled to do so. Unless and until they find new economic roles for themselves, the small cities will continue to decline. Reinventing these smaller cities is a tall order. A few might still function as nodes of industrial production. But landing a foreign-owned auto manufacturer or a green energy plant hardly solves every problem. Thenew jobs will not be unionized and thus will not pay nearly as much as the positions lost. The competition among localities for high-tech and knowledge economy firms is intense. Decaying towns with poor schools and few amenities...

Publication Details

Lexington Books
Lexington Books
Publication Date:


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James J. Connolly (Editor)

James J. Connolly is professor of history and director of the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State University.

More about James J. Connolly


Editor :
James J. Connolly
Contributor :
Catherine Tumber
Contributor :
Janet R. Daly Bednarek
Contributor :
Allen Dieterich-Ward
Contributor :
Alison D. Goebel
Contributor :
Michael J. Hicks
Contributor :
Thomas E. Lehman
Contributor :
S Paul O'Hara
Contributor :
LaDale Winling
After the Factory
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