Made In The U.S.A.: What Can America Make?

The manufacturing sector isn't dead, but it's different. For the survivors, it's all about new ideas

The rusting Hulks of Bethlehem Steel's blast furnaces and coke ovens cast a long shadow over the Lehigh Valley. "Bessie" once employed 30,000 people in its namesake town in northeastern Pennsylvania. The company survives elsewhere, but what's left of it here has been all but abandoned. The windows of the redbrick warehouses are cracked and clouded. A portion of train trestle stands idle, neither end connected to anything. Such sights would have been unimaginable 30 years ago, when the valley roared with the fires of open-hearth furnaces.

Does this empty shell represent the future of American manufacturing? With cheap labor in...

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