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Manufacturing Renaissance In The Rust Belt

Hiring is up in the rust belt. Could tried and true American manufacturing bring back America’s economy?

Workers at a Cleveland steel press. (AP)

Workers get ready to pull a piece of forged steel to be used in a heavy load helicopter out of a giant press at SifCo Industries in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP)

After years of downsizing and off-shoring, “American manufacturing” has come to sound like an oxymoron to a lot of Americans.

But the buzz this season is about a manufacturing renaissance. Factories opening, reopening. New production lines. More work.

While the overall U.S. economy grew 1.9 percent in the first quarter, manufacturing grew more than 9 percent.

A “shining star” they’re calling it. Of course, that growth is from a battered baseline. And the wages now? Way down. But still…

This hour On Point: the buzz, again, around American manufacturing, and what’s really going on.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Peter Coy, Economics editor and senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek

Susan Helperprofessor of economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University

Thomas Runiewicz, economist with the U.S. industry practice of IHS Global Insight

Ben Suarez, founder and chief executive of Suarez Corporation Industries.


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Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

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Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
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The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

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