Trying to put down permanent roots in factory towns (and their modern day equivalent, the single…
Jay Sun
33

Companies like Kodak, provided many jobs with good wages and no requirement of a college degree. These jobs, often, in Kodak’s case here in Rochester, were very specific to the film industry or chemical industry. As time went on business was good, bonuses were high, and the sense that Kodak would be there indefinitely was the common way of thinking. When business started to feel the pressure of digital photography(Kodak’s foray into that wasn’t as successful as it’s competitors) and competition in many other areas of their business, many were downsized but often their skill set wasn’t transportable to other industries here. 
Many had become complacent and hadn’t developed othere skills by perhaps taking advantage of tuition assistance programs or getting trained in areas that had portable job skills. It was a very harsh reality for many. Having gotten used to living at or above the means that the well paying job had afforded them, their ability to earn that level of pay was gone and the lifestyle as well.
As time has gone on, Kodak is no longer a major employer here in Rochester. We luckily are NOT a rust belt town. On the contrary, though there are still many manufacturing operations, there are many more software and optics companies and many opportunities here for those with college and advanced degrees. Lots of small start ups and branches of the larger corporations. A medical and dental school, lots of research in medicine, physics, optics and much more. I would call this a white collar town with a blue collar background.

Like what you read? Give mkl a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.