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Old 01-12-2012, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,235 posts, read 8,217,686 times
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I thought this gives a little perspective on Greenville's present, and recent past, in manufacturing.

The History Of Factory Jobs In America, In One Town : Planet Money : NPR

And here's the longer article from the Atlantic:

Making It in America - Magazine - The Atlantic
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
10,911 posts, read 15,582,742 times
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Those are very illuminating articles. I had no idea. It's up to the powers that be to help people with little means get the skills they need to fill manufacturing jobs that require higher skills. GDP will continue to lag otherwise.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:46 PM
 
144 posts, read 272,589 times
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The Atlantic Article is a good piece of writing and asks some difficult questions.

Calling the NPR piece, a hack-job would be far to kind. There was obviously zero research done other than reading the Atlantic piece and Googling Greenville and Manufacturing for 10 minutes.

The one major flaw in both articles I think is that they both tend to glorify the old textile manufacturing mills. They make it sound like those working in those mills were well taken care off in all things and had the promise of a better life for future generations which is so untrue.

The vast majority of those who worked in textile mills lived just north of the poverty line and in many cases below it. Almost every part of Greenville that one might call dangerous was a product of Textile Mills, and almost the only job the son of a textile worker could ever hope of having was in that same textile mill.

Manufacturing in Greenville and America has a very cloudy future, but that is no reason to polish up the past.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,235 posts, read 8,217,686 times
Reputation: 2640
Quote:
Originally Posted by nighttown View Post
The Atlantic Article is a good piece of writing and asks some difficult questions.

Calling the NPR piece, a hack-job would be far to kind. There was obviously zero research done other than reading the Atlantic piece and Googling Greenville and Manufacturing for 10 minutes.

The one major flaw in both articles I think is that they both tend to glorify the old textile manufacturing mills. They make it sound like those working in those mills were well taken care off in all things and had the promise of a better life for future generations which is so untrue.

The vast majority of those who worked in textile mills lived just north of the poverty line and in many cases below it. Almost every part of Greenville that one might call dangerous was a product of Textile Mills, and almost the only job the son of a textile worker could ever hope of having was in that same textile mill.

Manufacturing in Greenville and America has a very cloudy future, but that is no reason to polish up the past.
Both pieces were written by the same reporter, who came to Greenville to interview those people and to visit the old mills and new plants. The NPR story is a very condensed version of the Atlantic article, shortened because of the time restraints of radio.

But I agree about glorifying the mills jobs. Those were not the best jobs. But to be fair, it's the former employees doing much of the glorification, and the reporter is reporting that. People felt very secure knowing there was an abundance of jobs, even if they weren't all that great to you and me. Apparently they miss having those jobs and thought their life was much better back then. I take their word at that.

I was a little surprised to see how recently the mill jobs dried up.

And it's good to remember that we still make a lot of stuff in this country, but having little education is no longer going to cut it. It now takes more than just "hard work" to make it in America. You need to get an education.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:22 AM
 
5,086 posts, read 7,226,433 times
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Art, I think you hit the nail on the head with that post. Education is key.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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NPR is well ..... NPR.

But having said that, the article was very interesting. I learned something about the manufacturing DNA of Greenville and something about Standard Motor Products (which is right in my back yard).

With respect to the skills required for tomorrow's jobs, the article was right on target. Unfortunately, we can't all be professors, teachers or journalists (which must dismay the NPR folks). Those who are going to actually produce something have to bring more to the table than a warm body anymore.

Additionally, I have to go check out this Christine's Tavern. Sounds like a lot of fun on a hot Saturday night!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
1,676 posts, read 2,999,099 times
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While NPR and The Atlantic are two sources I'd hardly describe s the be all and end all, one can take away that Greenville's future is exceptionally bright, manufacturing-wise.

I can relate to the Atlantic article in some ways, although I agree that textile jobs were not quite what these big city types claim, at least according to people I've spoken with who worked in those places, either full-time or while they were in college in the 50's and 60's. Yet many Americans in other parts of the country had similar experiences in commodities manufacturing.

One has a better chance at climbing the economic ladder in a place like Standard or a similar plant here, locally, than at the old textile mills. As long as folks have the drive and are willing to go to school (Greenville Tech is one of the best tech schools in the country, IMHO, plus we have Clemson and USC-Upstate), Greenville is one of the few places where in this stagnant economy folks may climb the economic ladder, or at the very least have some job security within manufacturing.

Kills me how the media describe SC, as if the landscape is dotted with rotted and burned-out old textile mills.

Same thought on the Tavern. Gotta check that out!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:50 AM
 
98 posts, read 188,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art123 View Post
I thought this gives a little perspective on Greenville's present, and recent past, in manufacturing.

The History Of Factory Jobs In America, In One Town : Planet Money : NPR

And here's the longer article from the Atlantic:

Making It in America - Magazine - The Atlantic
Thanks for posting - great article, Art.
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