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The Past And Future Of American Manufacturing

Woodside Cotton Mill in Simpsonville, SC employed 622 people early in 1988. In 1989, the mill closed. It was recently converted into condominiums.

hide captionWoodside Cotton Mill in Simpsonville, SC employed 622 people early in 1988. In 1989, the mill closed. It was recently converted into condominiums.

scmikeburton/Flickr

American manufacturing is dead, right? Not exactly. The dollar value of what we make here keeps going up and up and up. But the success of American manufacturers has come at a cost. The number of manufacturing jobs in this country has collapsed as factories replace workers with machines.

Today on the podcast, we're going to take a trip to Greenville, South Carolina, where factories filled with bright shiny machines sit just across the train tracks from shuttered old mills. It's the perfect place to answer the question — what is the state of the low skilled American worker?

Note: Today's podcast is part of special reporting project Adam Davidson did for the Atlantic. Make sure to check out his story for the magazine, Making It in America.

Subscribe to the podcast. Music: Rachel Platten's "Little Light." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify.

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