Updated Thesis Statement

We are living in the post-industrial age. For many communities in the US whose growth grew from dependence on manufacturing and industrialization, the utopian state of the 1950s is a distant dream or forgotten memory (Wilson & Wouters, 2003.) Once thriving communities have turned into depressed cities riddled with abandoned factories, condemned buildings, poverty and unemployment. They are filled with jobless, skilled and unskilled laborers and have few opportunities for those with professional skill and education. What is the future of the growing numbers of rust-belt cities in the United States? Too often, we turn our backs on these small cities and dismiss them as being too economic and resource intensive and therefore beyond saving. But there is rich history and culture worth preserving and opportunity in these communities for revitalization; we need to partner with the citizens to seek these opportunities out and make the changes necessary to grow and move into the future (Spinuzzi, 2005.)

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