Changing Gears’ Midwest Road Trip Is Off And Running

This week, the Changing Gears team is on the road, looking at modern-day company towns around our region. We’re telling the stories of towns that still rely on one big company, or one industry, and how they’re coping during the recession. On one of Kohler's main streets, just between Kohler Co. main offices and The American Club (Niala Boodhoo)

I sat down this morning with Alison Cuddy, host of 848 on our partner station WBEZ in Chicago, to talk about our series.


Here’s our lineup for the week. If you live in one of our company towns, we’d love to hear from you.

KOHLER: Niala Boodhoo visits Kohler, WI, which was created by The Kohler Company, the home fixtures company that is still its biggest employer.

DECATUR: Niala goes to Decatur, IL, where the scent of the agriculture products processed by ADM is in the air.

ISHPEMING: Kate Davidson heads way north, to Ishpeming, MI. It’s still possible to get a mining job here, although no one knows what the future holds.

NORWALK: Dan Bobkoff tells the story of Norwalk Furniture, which was saved by 12 townspeople who invested to keep it open.

ORRVILLE: Dan wraps up the week in Orrville, OH, where you may have heard of Smuckers, but probably don’t know about the family owned businesses that help keep the economy moving.

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