For decades, the story of manufacturing in Massachusetts' Lower Merrimack Valley – one of the cradles of the First Industrial Revolution in the U.S. – was one of textile mills that gradually stopped running and manufacturing jobs that gradually went away. In March of this year, manufacturing accounted for 246,500 jobs in Massachusetts, down nearly half from 493,900 at the start of 1990.The story was echoed at the close of the 20th century and through the Great Recession in other parts of the country where big, community-fixture factories were shuttering and manufacturing's status as an engine for local economic growth and a reliable source of family-supporting jobs…Full Story
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