Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flint and Rochester: A Tale of Two Cities

With the decline of Kodak, Rochester, New York could have become another Flint, but it has fared far better than the Vehicle City. Peter Applebome of
The New York Times reports:

It feels like the wrenching culmination of a slide over decades, during which Kodak’s employment in Rochester plummeted from 62,000 in the 1980s to less than 7,000 now. Still, for this city in western New York, the picture that emerges, like a predigital photograph coming to life in a darkroom, is not a simple tale of Rust Belt decay.

Rochester has been a job-growth leader in the state in recent years. In 1980, total employment in the Rochester metropolitan area was 414,400. In 2010, it was 503,200. New businesses have been seeded by Kodak’s skilled work force, a reminder that a corporation’s fall can leave behind not just scars but also things to build upon.

1 comment:

  1. I still don't know how Rochester or any other city can continue forever without some type of hard value added manufaturing based industry. Retailers, other middle men, banks, etc. are all suffering. Because of lower wages, lower real estate values, and stagnant investment returns, tax revenues are less, and hence any government cannot afford employees with high pay, benefits, and pensions without collapsing, or just printing money that becomes worth less and less.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.