Stand the Middle Ground by Brendan Hoffman
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Amid the fertile fields of Iowa sits Webster City, a town of 8,000 people in the midst of an existential crisis. For the better part of the past 80 years, manufacturing has kept the town employed and prosperous, with a factory that made everything from something called a doodlebug to, most recently, washing machines under the brand Electrolux. The tree-lined streets of handsome single-family homes and a main street packed with local businesses are the very picture of middle class America.
In 2011, the factory closed and moved to Mexico, laying off nearly all of a workforce that once topped 2,000. Companies that relied on contracts with Electrolux also went under, compounding the impact. Those who lost their jobs were left with limited options: learn a new trade, leave, or find another way to survive. This work in progress is the story of a community struggling to understand its place in a changing world while trying to hang on to a fading American dream.
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