Elkhart, Ind., is known as the RV capital of the world. The city suffered badly when the recession hit and demand for recreational vehicles all but screeched to a halt. That's when local and state leaders started looking for ways to bolster the area's manufacturing industry.
The unemployment rate in the city along the Michigan border eventually soared to 20 percent — the highest in the nation at the time.
The near 30 year old Greeley Mall goes on the auction block today for a fraction of its original building cost. The mall, which is currently in foreclosure, has been looking for a buyer for over two years.
The traditional "suburban" mall may be on its final leg, as a new type of retail shopping destination emerges.
A welder at Specialty Fab in North Lima, Ohio, works March 1 on a piece of a compressor skid frame that is bound for the Ohio Shale project. Manufacturing companies such as Specialty Fab could receive tax breaks if a proposal from the Obama administration goes through.
The White House says restoring the U.S. manufacturing sector is an essential part of getting the economy back on track.
GOP candidate Rick Santorum wants to see tax breaks for manufacturing companies, and the Obama administration proposed something similar last week. But economists say tax breaks may not be the best way to help manufacturers right now.
Over the years, the steady loss of good factory jobs is a big reason why wages have stagnated for people who never went to college, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.