2:00 pm

Robert Forrant “The Rise and Rapid Demise of New England Precision Manufacturing”

_0004_forrantThrough an examination of the history of innovation and precision machinery building in Lowell, Worcester and in cities and towns along the Connecticut River from Springfield, MA to Springfield, VT, I will describe how these places developed enterprises and a regional approach to development that offered workers decent wages and an opportunity to support their families. How did this happen? What took place after the Second World War, which interrupted this virtuous circle of sustained and reasonably share prosperity? Through case studies of several firms, I will tell the story of the wonderful rise and sad demise of one of the U.S.’s most important manufacturing regions. I will also consider if there is a way back for this type of precision manufacturing.