The True Story Behind ‘Sweat’, Broadway’s Award-Winning Working Class Play

Trade talks are still underway in D.C. and the halls of power around the world, but The Public Theater is bringing manufacturing and trade debates to the people most impacted by trade action -- the communities of industrial America.  On Sept. 24, New York City's Public Theater launches its fall tour of the award-winning play "Sweat" through industrial cities of the Midwest and other locations to prompt local discussion ahead of the mid-term elections. In this episode, host Scott Paul, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and one of the inspirations of her work, Dean Showers, discuss the true story behind Nottage's award-winning play, "Sweat". *Photo courtesy of The Public Theater. | Joan Marcus

Factoring Community into the Factory

The factory of the future is becoming the factory of today, but how can manufacturers share this innovation with their local communities, particularly when it comes to recruiting workers? Visiting Skilled Manufacturing, Inc.'s Aerospace Division in Traverse City, Mich., host Scott Paul speaks with some of the leading manufacturers of Traverse, including the CEOs of Skilled Manufacturing, Kalkaska Screw Products, Inc., and Promethient, Inc. , and the principal owner of RJG, Inc. to explore the current state of manufacturing and how these manufacturers approach community outreach.

Beth Macy Examines the Opioid Crisis in Factory Towns and Rural America and Finds Hope

Losing the steady paychecks that factory jobs provide can decimate a community, with ripple effects hitting nearly every corner of town. Unfortunately, many former manufacturing centers, like much of rural America, are grappling with an opioid crisis as community members face uncertain futures, but there's hope. In this episode, host Scott Paul and Beth Macy, award-winning journalist and author of "Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America" and "Factory Man", discuss the drug epidemic sweeping America and what we can do to help.

Reading Between the Assembly Lines: Writers Reclaim the Power of the Working Class

Plenty has been written about industrial communities and the "flyover states," but the portrayal of these communities too often reduces to stereotypes. According to Georgetown University English Professor Sherry Lee Linkon, author of "The Half-Life of Deindustrialization", the most accurate portraits of the working class can be found in fiction. In this episode, host Scott Paul and Linkon explore the role of fiction in reclaiming the voice and power of industrial communities.

Steelworker Forges His Family Legacy

Don Jackson wanted nothing more than to follow both his steelworker father and grandfather into the steel mill to work among the sparks and molten metals. It took him 35 years before he could. Listen to learn why Don spent decades searching for his steel job.

Inside the story

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