CBS News highlights economic revitalization in Newton, IA

November 25, 2008 by Emsi Burning Glass

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In the span of two years, Newton, Iowa, has reinvented itself after the loss of Maytag’s corporate and manufacturing headquarters.  As a result, it has received national attention and serves as a textbook example of how small and rural communities can survive even the most devastating job loss.

Summary: Nearly 1,900 workers in the small community lost their jobs once Whirlpool, which acquired Maytag in 2006, closed the facility. After being awarded the U.S. Department of Labor’s first-ever Regional Innovation Grant, regional leaders contracted with EMSI and consulting firm Maher & Maher to come up with a revitalization plan.

Thus far, the results have been very promising. The small community recruited new industries (specifically wind energy firms) to make up for the loss of the giant appliance manufacturer. Currently, about 1,200 jobs have been reclaimed through the addition of a handful of new companies to the area.