Rubber and Heroin in a Dying City
It is perhaps hard to look at all of this in a historical context, as a story of how misfortune echoes down generations. Goodyear, having effectively outsourced its labor to places all over the globe, is back on its feet now. But the layoffs of the early nineties and the early 2000s had a lasting impact in Akron. There is no story that’s just an ending. Akron wasn’t always as hopeless as it seems now. The people who were laid off in each of those two eras were parents, neighbors, community members who supported the town and helped it thrive. Without their income, the town suffered, and without the ability to move anywhere else, their struggle was passed down to their children. In one decade, thousands of Akron’s working class were rendered jobless, and as the old story of deindustrialization goes, many of them didn’t have skills that transferred out of the factory and manufacturing settings they were trained for.