Manufacturing jobs were once the cornerstone of the New Hampshire economy, and in turn, the state’s middle class. The assembly lines and factory floors gave workers with limited education—but a willingness to work—an opportunity to earn a liveable wage.
But innovation, automation and international trade have erased many of these jobs during the past few decades. While the state still produces $8 billion worth of goods each year, it does so with far fewer people. For Granite Staters with no college degree or advanced training, the promise of decent pay for hard work is fading.
For NHPR's three-part series On the Line: Manufacturing in New Hampshire, reporter Todd Bookman explores what’s been lost, would could be regained, and what leaders in the manufacturing sector want to see from their elected officials.