SHIFTING GEARS: FIVE YEARS AFTER GM
It's been five years since General Motors ended decades of production at its hulking assembly plant in Janesville. In a two-day series, The Gazette takes an in-depth look at the economy and facilities left behind and how they're positioned for the future.
DAY ONE: JANESVILLE RECOVERS
The local economy hasn't replaced the high-paying manufacturing jobs that left with the General Motors assembly plant, but local economic development officials said the area has recovered better than they had hoped.
Looking back, Bob Borremans isn't sure he would have done workforce training any differently in the wake of the General Motors closure.
A piece that was published in Mother Jones magazine in 2009 painted a much bleaker picture of Janesville than what was actually occurring.
It's no secret that the manufacturing sector—for decades the base of Rock County's economy—has been battered.
The view of Janesville as another town about to dry up and blow away has not proved true, longtime Gazette reporter Frank Schultz writes.
DAY TWO: THE FUTURE OF THE PLANT
Questions abound about the future of the site of the idled GM site in Janesville. But residents can be hopeful the end result will be good for the community.
General Motors has been tight-lipped about the future of the Janesville plant, other than to say that future market conditions and the contract between the automaker and its union will dictate what happens.
Janesville's assistant city manager has pitched a plan to move the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds to the General Motors plant site, and the fair board president says he's thrilled.
Longtime Janesville residents might be surprised the General Motors plant doesn't glow at night after almost a century of intense industrial production.
On the same day General Motors' last SUV rolled off the line in Janesville, a similar scene was unfolding 400 miles away at GM's plant in the small town of Moraine, Ohio.
Much has been accomplished since General Motors closed its Janesville plant five years ago, and much work remains.
A timeline detailing the history of Janesville's GM plant.
Former GM plant tour guide Bob Geisler has fond memories of the facility. But as planning proceeds on the property's future, the community's future concerns him more.
Black & white photos documenting the history of Janesville's GM plant.
Color photos documenting the more recent history of Janesville's GM plant.
Photos from the last day of production at Janesville's GM plant on December 23, 2008.