Evolution in Industrial Towns

Amid the recession, industrial towns in the Rust Belt have been forced to evolve as jobs dry up. But this is nothing new for the region, where towns have been re-imagining their economies for decades. <em>NPR</em> reports.
March 31, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"In the Pittsburgh suburb of Homestead, I found longtime Mayor Betty Esper. She spent three decades working in U.S. Steel's massive Homestead Works, a sprawling mill across the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh that shut down in 1986. She was elected mayor several years after the mill closed.

Esper says her community lost tax revenue during those years with so many people out of work. The town had to slash its budget and cut services.

Over time, Homestead recovered. The key, Esper said, was redeveloping the site of the old mill. It's now a sprawling waterfront shopping and business complex. And the money generated from the property is fueling Homestead's economy - and helping the town weather the current recession."

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Published on Monday, March 30, 2009 in NPR
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