For nearly a century, people in Janesville, Wis. built automobiles. General Motors first set up shop there in 1919 and quickly became the heart of the town. Over the decades, generations of families born and raised in Rock County would go on work at the plant.
But all that changed in 2008, when General Motors shuttered the plant, then its oldest factory in existence. The resulting ripple effect led as many as 9,000 people in the city and surrounding communities to lose their jobs.