Main Street in Webster City, Iowa, has so far survived the 2011 closure of an Electrolux factory. But retraining funds and unemployment are running out for former workers, leaving businesses worried that a serious downturn is ahead.
Credit Andrea Hsu / NPR
Electrolux's former warehouse and distribution center in Webster City, Iowa, is up for sale. The plant itself, across the street, will soon be demolished.
What becomes of a city of 8,000 people when its main employer leaves town? What does it look like, and what does it feel like? I set out to answer those questions on a trip to Webster City, Iowa, last month, as part of my report on the Swedish appliance maker Electrolux.
Electrolux's new plant in Memphis, Tenn., is the Swedish appliance company's most modern and high-tech facility. The factory will open this summer while an Electrolux plant in Quebec, Canada, is being shuttered.
Credit Andrea Hsu / NPR
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton (left) with Jack Truong of Electrolux at the company's new plant. The city used a large incentive package to entice the company.
Credit Courtesy of Electrolux
Jerry Kloberdanz and seven family members were laid off when Electrolux closed its Webster City, Iowa, plant in 2011.
The United States lost close to 6 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009. Now, slowly, some of those jobs are coming back. Over the past three years, the U.S. economy has gained a half-million manufacturing jobs.
But even with the manufacturing recovery, there are both winners and losers — and sometimes they're created by the same company.
Cursive handwriting is disappearing from the list of required courses at U.S. schools, so one New Jersey grandmother is making sure her grandson's schoolmates know how to loop their Ls and curl their Qs.
At first, 45 students signed up for the cursive club that Sylvia Hughes founded last fall at Nellie K. Parker Elementary School. But then the club grew to 60 8- and 9-year olds.
Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.
That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.
Picture a tiny town set along a creek in West Virginia. A mountain rises from the town's eastern edge, overlooking the 1,400 people living below. Then, July comes — and 50,000 people arrive on that mountain for the National Scout Jamboree.
The town is called Mount Hope. I've heard some call it "Mount Hopeless." The town went through the long, downward slump from the boom days of deep-mine coal, when it was a grand, small-town capital of coal mining.
As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.
Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.
D.L. Hughley is an actor-comedian, and currently a top 10 competitor on Dancing With The Stars. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, he shares some favorite songs that he calls 'savory and sweet' — including an unlikely pick, a folk song that makes him think of his parents.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. It's that time of year. Students are hearing back from college admissions offices and competition being what it is these days, we know a lot of people are going to be unhappy, so we've called a psychotherapist to ask how to help students cope with that inevitable - for most of us, anyway - rejection letter.