New Video Looks at How We Can Rebuild Black Communities Impacted by Industrial Flight

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Dec 14 2016 |
St. Louis is one of the manufacturing hubs left devastated by industrial flight, and African-American workers uniquely suffered.

All workers suffered because of factory job loss, but African-Americans faced unique challenges.

In October, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) released the report Unmade in America: Industrial Flight and the Decline of Black Communities. Written by AAM research fellow Gerald Taylor, the report looks at the disproportionally negative impact factory job loss had on black manufacturing workers — and what can be done to help these workers and their communities rebound.

Three months after its release, the report's message is now more important than ever. President-elect Donald Trump has already made stopping offshoring one of the priorities for his incoming administration, and there is now a national debate over how best to strengthen American manufacturing.

While much of this attention has focused on the white working class, it is important that we also focus attention on blue collar workers of color like the African-American workers that Taylor discusses in his report. As Taylor notes, black workers suffered the most by industrial flight, as they also had to deal with the wealth gap, housing discrimination, and other obstacles that made it harder to rebound.

Check out the explainer video below to learn more, including how policy efforts such as infrastructure investment, workforce development, and worker-friendly trade policy can help African-American workers and communities rebuild.