Amid the fertile fields of Iowa sits Webster City, a town of 8,000 people in the midst of an existential crisis. For nearly 75 years, manufacturing kept the town employed and prosperous, with a factory that made everything from motor scooters called Doodle Bugs to, most recently, washing machines under the brand Electrolux. The tree-lined streets with 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 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.
With news clippings from The Daily Freeman-Journal and The Des Moines Register
Printed in Kiev, Ukraine