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CNN PRESENTS

CNN Presents: Company Town

Aired November 21, 2004 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL LIN, ANCHOR: Hello there. I'm Carol Lin at the CNN Center in Atlanta. CNN PRESENTS: COMPANY TOWN right after these headlines.
The NBA comes down hard on players involved in the brawl with fans at Friday's Indiana-Detroit game. Nine players from the teams were suspended. In the harshest penalty, Indiana's Ron Artest was suspended for the rest of the season. We're going to have player, fan and legal reaction to this developing story tonight in our prime time show at 10.

In the meantime, President Bush promises to work for immigration reform and to reduce the U.S. deficit. Those comments in Chile this evening after the end of an economic summit of 21 Pacific Rim nations.

Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Jerusalem. He'll hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials, looking for a way to revive the peace process in the wake of Yasser Arafat's death.

I'm Carol Lin. So please remember to join us tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern for a lot of reaction to the NBA suspensions. But right now, CNN PRESENTS starts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The steel foundry, I thought, offered me some place where I could work for 30 years and retire as a young man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Timken says it's phasing out all three Canton area bearings plants.

W.R. TIMKEN JR., CHAIRMAN, TIMKEN: The next generation that might have worked in our bearing facilities has got to prepare themselves for other work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I broke steel with a sledgehammer, so what am I going to be, a lumberjack?

CANDY ROSE, FORMER HOOVER'S EMPLOYEE: Eleven hundred dollars a month to keep insurance. Can you imagine that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not going to portray us as being downtrodden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to make sure that the citizens know that I believe. Then they're going to believe. You've got to give them hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to go out fighting. We're not going to give up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has taken awhile to get to us. But you know what? It's here, and we're facing it, and it's real.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AARON BROWN, HOST: It was once a symbol of American life, the engine that powered the economy. But the company town is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Welcome again to CNN PRESENTS. I'm Aaron Brown.

When manufacturing was king, they sprung up throughout the heartland of the country: boom towns dominated by local plants, companies that held the promise of good, reliable jobs, a secure future, a ticket to the American dream.

But today, the company town, by and large, has become a casualty of an economy that has changed, that's now firmly service oriented. For those workers trying to make the transition, it is a struggle for survival.

And it is a struggle that producers Dave Timko and Emily Probst witnessed up close, in Stark County, Ohio, where new realities are forcing changes on an old and established way of life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On behalf of the great citizens of the city of Canton, we welcome you to a wonderful, glorious night underneath the monument of our 25th president, William McKinley. Maestro, let the celebration begin.

(MUSIC)

GRAPHIC: May 14, 2004: The Timken Co. announces the closure of its Canton bearing plants, putting 1,300 jobs in jeopardy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sense of loss, a sense of anxiety now about an uncertain future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd come here thinking I'd be here, it'd be the last job I ever worked.

GRAPHIC: Since 2000, Stark County, Ohio, has lost one quarter of its manufacturing jobs.

BROWN (voice-over): They are the new poor, people who in their whole lives never imagined they would line up in a food bank.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody's got to change what's happening to us people here.

GRAPHIC: June 4, 2004: Fifteen years after buying the Hoover Co., Maytag announces the relocation of Hoover's headquarters to Newton, Iowa. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the reductions will come from the headquarters in North Canton. Manufacturing and some R&D will remain there, but the headquarters function will be consolidated.

GRAPHIC: Five hundred salaried Hoover employees are expected to lose their jobs.

ELIZABETH WARREN, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: These are people who played by the rules, who did everything they were supposed to do, and who find that it's all been ripped out of their hands.

More and more families are seeing the American dream slip out of their reach. They see jobs they can't count on. They see health insurance they can't afford. They see an old age in which there's going to be nothing left for them.

I think America's middle class is scared. And I think they have a lot of reason to be scared.

C. ROSE: Even with all the emotions of losing your job, not knowing what's going to happen, you still have to have fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The burgers are ready and we have some dogs done.

ROSE: Did you see the deviled eggs? They're red, white and blue.

I'm Candy Rose, and we're having a picnic here at our house for the Fourth of July.

I have worked with Hoover's, and I was let go on June 8, so I've lost my job with them. I've been there almost 32 years. It was like a total shock.

And then you feel betrayed, like why me? And you're angry. And I cried for about two or three days.

They've all lost their jobs, too.

And I have a sister that worked there. She lost her job the week after I did. I have numerous cousins and uncles that have all worked there.

JEFF ROSE, CANTON, OHIO, RESIDENT: It was a family deal. You know, it was not uncommon to have, you know, brothers and sisters and relatives working throughout there.

My name's Jeff. I'm married to Candy.

This is the house we lived in out here outside of Massillon, Ohio. We put a lot of work into this since we moved here about seven years ago. We've torn off all the siding and put on new siding.

C. ROSE: Since my husband was let go from the steel mill five years ago, we've been under my benefits. All right. Thanks.

That was Allcare Insurance (ph). Eleven hundred dollars a month. Can you imagine that? Golly.

I've been diabetic for 32 years. These two items is what costs $567 for a three-month supply. That's with insurance.

I try to take care of myself. I do all my doctor visits. I do the blood sugars testing.

This is my baby.

Being that we both have the new bikes, it's something that you think can you afford to keep it?

Hopefully, if I sell my other bike, I want to use that money to pay this one off.

If it would come to my medicine, I would sell my bike.

J. ROSE: So we've got our little chunk of land here and, you know, we'll make do with what we've got. And you know, I would just like to enjoy my new garage for awhile. You know, if I can do that, if I can enjoy my new garage for awhile, because I just got that thing built.

And then after that, I don't care. You know, if we have to move, we'll move. You know, if we have to uproot and go someplace and do something, we'll do that.

I'd miss it.

WARREN: They made a deal. And they lived with the deal for 10 years, for 20 years, for 30 years. And now the deal's over.

C. ROSE: It's like you finally get the life headed the direction you think you're going to be so you can retire, and you're trying to get things set in order. And now it's like you have no job and no income, no benefits. It's scary. Very scary.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We now return to CNN PRESENTS: COMPANY TOWN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIMKEN: Friction is when things rub against each other. My name's W. R. Timken Jr., but I'm better known as Tim.

The is the single row tapered bearing.

An anti-friction bearing enables every wheel and shaft to turn with a minimum of friction. GRAPHIC: The Timken Co. has been Stark County's largest employer for decades.

TIMKEN: He's the founder of our family in America.

My family came from Europe and moved to Canton, Ohio, in 1901 and started up the Timken Company as we know it today. I became the chairman in 1975.

You look at manufacturing throughout the country, it's remarkable that one facility has been manufacturing for 105 years.

GRAPHIC: The Timken Co. employs 4,800 workers in Stark County, Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After considering many locations, the family chose Canton, Ohio.

TIMKEN: In the beginning of any company, there's one plant in one location. And therefore, that becomes that company's town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The site is still the company's headquarters today.

GRAPHIC: The Timken Co. employs 26,000 workers globally.

TIMKEN: We operate in some 47 facilities all over the world, so you ask yourself, well, where is the Timken Company's town, this is where we started. This is where our headquarters are. And we've had a commitment to this area for the last 105 years.

And in the process, we've provided jobs to generation after generation.

JAN KOTILA, MCKINLEY MUSEUM: This is a family and a company that has done tremendous things for Stark County. We're proud of the business economy that we've had here.

And when you step into the hall, you're going to see some of the big names in our county: Hoover, Timken. They've employed thousands of people, and they've contributed thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars.

I don't know where Canton would be without the Timken history.

WARREN: By and large, throughout much of the 20th Century, company towns were good towns to live in. They were places where the schools were good, where there were high homeownership rates and where almost everybody had a job.

The whole nature of a company town is that it was built around a fundamental contract between the employer and the employees. Company towns today are no longer flourishing. It's a bygone way of life.

GRAPHIC: May 14, 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Timken says it's phasing out all three Canton area bearings plants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It kind of makes me disappointed in the Timken family. This is where they made all their money, and now they're doing this.

TIMKEN: It is another case where the cost of employing a person got to be prohibitive in the competitive markets of today.

The company cannot, and it never has had a relationship with the next generation. We take care of the people that are working for the Timken Company and will, and we take care of our retirees.

But the next generation in Stark County that might have worked in our bearing facilities has got to prepare themselves for other work. They should be staying in school longer and learning new talents.

The people right here in Stark County do know and realize that they are part of a modern, evolving, changing world.

KOTILA: In the city park across the street from the Hoover Company is a statue of the original Mr. Hoover. His name was Boss. And he was not just a successful man in his business but successful in his community. People like him. He was compassionate and generous.

Tradition and loyalty and interactive. They sit in it. You turn it on, and the suction of the Hoover cleaner actually pulls the chair up with the person in it.

This is a community that knows Hoover and likes Hoover and, you know, what's not great about Hoover?

TOM BRIATICO, PRESIDENT, HOOVER COMPANY: We've had to make some very tough calls here. But you do it to save the overall company and the overall jobs.

You just pull it right out of the box, and that's the only assembly necessary.

And my name is Tom Briatico, president of the Hoover Company. Hoover's a division of Maytag Corporation.

In this day and age as a corporation, you have to adjust your fixed costs to be competitive.

GRAPHIC: June 4, 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's time to step back and, you know, take a deep breath and say, OK. Time to move on to something else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Julie and 500 other Hoover salaried employees are losing jobs.

BRIATICO: We had duplicate functions without our corporations, so the main goal there was to eliminate duplication.

GRAPHIC: Hoover factories in North Canton continue to employ about 1,400 workers under contracts set to expire in 2008.

BRIATICO: Maytag is very committed to this community and all the communities where we have plants and manufacturing. If Maytag weren't that interested, we would have just shut North Canton and moved our jobs to Asia.

But right now, it's all about cost complication.

And any time you go through a solid (ph) layoff, that's a tough thing. You know, there's no such thing as entitlement any more.

I think that's one that only time will heal.

WARREN: The families in these company towns were once solidly middle class. They were the people who could count on good jobs, good benefits, good schools, good homes. They had it all, from the first day they went to work until the day they died. And what's happening is they're now losing it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I graduated from Newfound (ph) High School. My mom and dad both retired from the Hoover Company. My name is Randy Santangelo (ph), and I've got 34 years in at the Hoover Company.

I got the raise, but you know, my family in North Canton and got a house because of that and all that. I mean, you know, I'm very grateful, you know, to the Hoover Company.

They're selling the Investo Park (ph). They used to manufacture all kinds of cleaners for the last 25 years. And they basically -- all the jobs went South.

Our lodge is up for sale. We're losing tax money to the schools.

This is the Hoover Park. And the Hoover Company donated it recently to Welsh College, which is right across the street. The Hoover Company employees could still rent it out any time they want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sad that they could take an institution like the Hoover Company started in 1908, is worldwide known. In European countries, they don't say "vacuum the carpet." They say, "Hoover the carpet." That's how well that name is known.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to go out fighting. We're not going to give up, because we're all here to make this place stay in this community. It's been good to us. Right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. I raised two kids on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I raised two myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not everybody can make a living and support families working at Wal-Mart or Burger King or McDonald's. We need the manufacturing jobs that we used to have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I would tell people across America, too, if you think it can't happen to you, you're wrong. It can. We've been here a long time, and we've watched other communities disintegrate around us. And it has taken awhile to get to us, but you know what? It's here. And we're facing it. And it's real.

And it's going to come to their town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To tell you how bad it is, we've had some letters to the editor talk about how they're going to take down, like, the top 30 feet of the smokestack and take the "HO" off.

Instead of saying "HOOVER," it's going to say "OVER." That's sad when you read that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We now return to CNN PRESENTS: COMPANY TOWN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Practice sportsmanship tonight. I don't want any problems, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name's Jeff Wrang (ph). I'm going to try to win some money tonight in this little jackpot tournament. I'm about to go gamble.

I don't have a job. I'm a displaced steel worker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boat No. 1, go. Boat No. 2, go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just try to be the first one to the best spot and catch five good fish and come back in, win the money. Simple as that.

Why would I spend my last $16? I might win $200.

Steel foundry, I thought, offered me someplace where I could work for 30 years, retire as a young man. That I would have at, what 49? So I thought that was a pretty good deal.

We're two fish behind already.

We were just going to work the whole time and then we'd be done, full pension.

One fish behind.

And after threatening to close for 25 years, they really did close. And I had no job. And no skills, really. I mean, I broke steel with a sledgehammer, so what am I going to be, a lumberjack?

And it was piecework, so the more steel you broke, the more money you made. And I was into that. It was zero brain work, but it was really gratifying to get in there and physically beat the crap out of something and get more money for it. GRAPHIC: Last spring, the steel foundry where Jeff worked reopened under a new name. His old job was available, but for less pay because of new overtime limits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it. That's the place. I walked in there about 300 times a year for 24 years.

Smells like money.

There really wasn't a whole lot of motivation to go back to the foundry. There would be absolutely no job security. All the guys who said they'd never walk in there again went back down there and got jobs, except for me.

And that was another big choice for me, was whether to just go back, get the steady paycheck again or better myself with real skill. I mean, a skill where I could go any place in the United States or anywhere, really, and get a job.

That's my old sledgehammer. See? Nobody even fixed it. It's got a broken handle on it.

It was very gratifying to be good at something and be known to be good at something.

I still love it. I want to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the best we ever had, right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the boss.

It was nice to walk down and see the shop again, and -- but I wouldn't go back there for anything. There's no way.

This is officially now the wrong side of the tracks. Maddox (ph).

Hi, what are you doing?

Hi. That's Maddox (ph), 9 and a half months old. Seventeen years, he'll be down there trying to pick that hammer up off the floor. It will still be there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got married at the Chapel of Love. I got married young. I'm Krista (ph). I'm Jeff's wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll play more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

Mother of Katie, Kathy and Maddox (ph).

When he lost his job, everything changed, you know? He -- we just had to live day to day, it seemed like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We spent our whole savings. We had to go bankrupt. We lost all of our vehicles except for my little truck. Almost lost the house. I did get partial pension. It's about -- it's almost $900 a month. And that's basically what we've been living on for the last two years.

I went over to the Department of Job and Family Services and applied for food stamps.

I never knew what it was like to be on the other side of the system. I always paid for the system. It's embarrassing to be poor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeffrey Wrang (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They back paid us until the first of August, so we'll have $1,015 worth of food. We don't have to eat macaroni and cheese next week. And we're tired of tuna. We have, like, this much tuna.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brigand (ph) Miller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We put $32 in; we won $70.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six point seven five. Good for $70.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm geared towards getting us out of this tiny house that we're in so we can raise the kids correctly. At least get that much of the American dream.

I was down at the steel today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I went inside. I wanted to break stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They wouldn't let me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The American dream, not to have to struggle any more, perhaps have a good job, you know? I think that's about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys lost me. Hey, I don't want to see any sour grapes.

GRAPHIC: After 24 years at the foundry, Jeff decided to return to school to learn a new skill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I miss it.

My best revenge is success.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We now return to CNN PRESENTS: COMPANY TOWN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRAPHIC: July 31, 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, Stark County.

JANET WEIR CREIGHTON, CANTON, OHIO: We got a notice about a week ago that the president was going to make his visit. I'm Janet Weir Creighton, the mayor of the great city of Canton, Ohio.

Buckeyes for Bush.

We're not really surprised, because we know how important Stark County is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to decide who the next president of the United States will be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No George Bush! No George Bush! No George Bush!

CREIGHTON: Give me another. Give me one more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ohio Legacy Bank. Started three years ago from nothing.

CREIGHTON: I'm going to talk about the economic growth in Canton and Stark County. We should add that one line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kerry! Kerry! Kerry!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our economy has been devastated in Stark County.

CREIGHTON: They're not going to portray us as being downtrodden, that things are wrong here, since ladies and gentlemen, this is where it's right.

One page (ph), just like I like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ain't seen nothing yet. Because you're about ready to hear the best. Let's welcome the honorable Janet Weir Creighton.

CREIGHTON: What a great day for Stark County, so let's rev it up! Yes!

Allow me to share just a few quick examples of the right things that are happening here in Canton.

How about Ohio Legacy Bank? Three years ago, nothing. Public traded company, $175 million in assets. And we think there's a recession? I don't think so.

All right. You know, I'm an old cheerleader, so I'm going to start off. Give me a "B".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: B!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: B!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: B!

CREIGHTON: "U"!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U!

CREIGHTON: An "S"!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: S!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: S!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: S!

CREIGHTON: Give me an "H"!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: H!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: H!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: H!

CREIGHTON: What have you got?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush!

CREIGHTON: Louder!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush! Bush! Bush!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush! Bush! Bush!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush! Bush! Bush! CREIGHTON: A cheerleader, lead the crowd. I'm a cheerleader for the city and for the county and really for the state of Ohio.

I have the greatest view from the floor -- office. As you can see, the entire Canton landscape.

I was born and raised in Canton. My dad worked for the Timken Company for 38 years. I was also a cheerleader. That's probably the banner that I still carry today.

I want to make sure that the citizens know that I believe. Then they're going to believe. You've got to give them hope.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The economy is strong, and it's getting stronger. It lags in places like eastern Ohio, I know that.

CREIGHTON: You know, we're really in a lot of ways not different than any other city in the United States. Everybody has their ups and downs.

GRAPHIC: From April through June 2004, there were 82 mass layoffs in Ohio resulting in the loss of more than 11,000 jobs.

BUSH: The heart and soul of America is found right here in Canton, Ohio.

GRAPHIC: Ohio has lost nearly one fifth of its manufacturing jobs in the last five years.

CREIGHTON: America is watching as we celebrate our slice of national pride, the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement.

If someone were to visit Canton during Hall of Fame week, you can start out with a balloon classic, where 65 balloons fly across our skies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Home made slaw (ph). Come and get it.

CREIGHTON: You can also go Ribs Burnoff, which we have every variety of ribs there.

Now I've got to get the sauce off my fingernails.

We have a style show. We have 4,000 women go in their top garb, and they're just having a great old time.

Hi!

Hoover Company grand parade, which will go down Fleetwood Avenue (ph).

People are not as apt to change in this county as they are in more progressive urban areas. One thing Cantonians always do, we always refer to things that were.

We're looking at the Cresby block (ph).

I don't know that we'll ever -- I don't know that there's any place in America that will ever experience or witness the manufacturing boom that was here years ago.

You know, we still don't make widgets all the same way. There's a new way. There's a better way, with technology. So we need to make sure that we keep up with the times and that we're willing to change with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't need four more years! We don't need four more years!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't need four more years! We don't need four more years!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't need four more years! We don't need four more years!

CREIGHTON: And I know that's difficult for some people to accept, because the guy that has worked on the factory floor might see his job disappear, which then leads to retraining for a future job. And that's what's going to have to happen here in Canton. Not just here but in every community across the United States.

C. ROOS: We have good days and bad days. And this week's been kind of a downer.

I'm a 50-year-old, and I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life.

We just lost. You know, I just.

You know, before you just get up every morning and you drive to work. You do your eight or 10 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

C. ROOS: I'd like a hog sandwich (ph).

You knew what you had to do every day. And then when you don't have a job, it's like what am I going to do today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my goodness, Candy. How are you?

C. ROOS: I'm good. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Have you got a job or not?

C. ROOS: No.

The night of the Rib Burnoff, I ran into Alan Cochran.

This is my hubby, Jeff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Used to work over at Hoover. C. ROOS: He was also diabetic. He's been on the insulin pump.

He's a pump buddy.

J. ROOS: OK.

C. ROOS: In the back of my mind, he was probably one of the main people that I worried about. But the night that I ran into him, I found out that his wife had just gotten a job right before he lost his, and she had insurance. So I didn't need to be worried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm getting as much out of Hoover as I'm making, like $23 an hour (ph).

C. ROOS: And I see that he has survived without Hoover's. So maybe things are picking up.

GRAPHIC: Candy applies to a state program for laid-off workers to be trained as a medical instrumentation sterilizer.

C. ROOS: My starting date for school is August 30, and this is August 6 and I don't know if I've been accepted yet by the state. So in the meantime, I'm supposed to look for a job.

WARREN: The research says two things. They tend to go a much longer period without a job than they had initially anticipated. And secondly, when they do find jobs, they not only pay less, but they carry a lot less status.

C. ROOS: I know some of the women let go the year before I was are having a very tough time getting a job because of their age.

I had no desire to go anywhere else or do anything else. My life was Hoover's, and that's where I wanted to continue to work.

JEFF RING, NURSING STUDENT: The state said, you know, we're going to retrain you. And they said, "What do you want to be? A welder or an auto body technician?"

I said, "Neither. I want to be a nurse."

"Oh, no. You don't want to do that."

So I said, "Well, the hell with you. I'm going to do it myself."

JOAN PARCELL, AULTMAN SCHOOL OF NURSING: Jeff Ring came into the school one day and asked for an application. He had a ponytail and facial hair, and he had a T-shirt and his jeans on.

RING: Which I can see why you don't want this guy as a nurse. No.

This is not acceptable for male nursing students. Which is fine with me.

I just cut my ponytail off and trimmed up to the corporate goatee and that's it. Now I'm this version.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Everyone have a quiz? You may begin.

RING: I'm sure that just about everybody that heard about it assumed that I'd be flunked out of the program in the first six months. I'm -- I'm sure that they didn't think I was going to stick with it.

When you work at the steel foundry, you don't even talk to anybody else for hours at a time. You're just in your own head. I should have been doing something in the medical field a long time ago. Actually, I'm participating in society for a change.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We now return to CNN PRESENTS: COMPANY TOWN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VALETA DRAKE, YEARBOOK ADVISER, HOOVER HIGH SCHOOL: The first decision we had to make in producing the yearbook is to come up with a theme that is appropriate to this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know about you guys, but, like, when people come out of these schools, and ask me about my school, and I say, "It's Hoover High School. Yes, it is actually named after the Hoover Company."

I think that losing the Hoover Company is part of our identity.

DRAKE: The theme that they have decided on is "Identity Crisis."

You have an identity crisis. Do we want doom and gloom throughout the whole book?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rather than it being doom and gloom, I think it's more about we're going to kind of reinvent ourselves. We're not going to be all down and out about the Hoover Company.

DRAKE: I don't know if it's my generation that a crisis is so dramatic. And that's what they like about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You say "identity crisis," they're going to know what you're talking about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is last year's yearbook.

DRAKE: Because our school is tied in to the Hoover Company, that makes a turning point and a time of adjustment, a time of change.

Do any more brainstorming? Turning point? Identity...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crisis. DRAKE: High school is a time of change. It's a time of discovering who you are.

OK, you can do it. But you're taking the phone calls, Heather.

Identifying who you are and who you're going to become.

WARREN: When a company town shuts down the plants, the young people are put to a choice: try to get a middle class job and that means leaving or stay with the community and family you've always known.

If they want to keep those community ties and those family ties, they run the risk of forfeiting their place in the middle class.

AMY KING, SENIOR, HOOVER HIGH SCHOOL: My name is Amy King, and I'm a senior at Hoover High School.

For our newspaper, which is called "The Viking Views," I am the co-editor-in-chief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an hour early. This is not a good thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I've got another box.

KING: Now, this is the first issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's all.

KING: This is our table of contents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amy, it looks so good.

KING: This is something that I really enjoy doing. I don't feel like it's work at all.

Like how you guys are making little groups. Like, that's cute. Something like that.

As far as the future goes, I know everyone says the job market, you know, you can't get a job.

I'm going to take a lot, so just stay there.

A lot of my friends have ambitious goals. I don't think people really want blue-collar type of jobs. And I also know a lot of adults are losing their jobs, so obviously, it's going to be harder for the younger generation to find jobs at all.

It's stressful when you think about it.

AARON MILLER, SENIOR AT HOOVER HIGH SCHOOL: I'm about to fall asleep.

After high school, I see Amy going to college. I don't think Amy will come back to this area.

KING: Our young ballot (ph).

MILLER: My name is Aaron Miller. I'm a senior at Hoover High School. My nickname is A.C.

Amy is -- I'd probably consider her my best friend. We're like, I don't know, brother and sister.

KING: I'm not telling my vote.

I voted for A.C. for homecoming king, because I think that A.C. is a good representation of our senior class.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the Vikings!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the Vikings!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the Vikings!

KING: This is my senior homecoming game, and we are very much the underdog in this game, so if we win, it would be really cool.

My family has lived in North Canton for their whole life. My dad went to Hoover High School, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much more?

KING: He's worked for Timken and for the Hoover Company also.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Touchdown!

KING: We were considering moving because of the real estate value. We don't know where it's going to be in a few years when the Hoover Company is not going to be here. Then things might -- might not be as easy to sell your house.

It's kind of my impression that when people are graduating from high school nowadays, as compared to my dad's generation, that people aren't really looking for what they can do in their own community.

MILLER: Not that many people who've graduated here are actually staying here now. I think I might stick around this area, because -- just because my family's around here and that's, like, all my family's ever done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There goes Aaron now. Hopefully, we can stop them on this drive.

MILLER: My dad, he's -- he's a different character.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey!

MILLER: He's known as the Mayor of Greentown because everyone really knows him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Defense! Get him! Yes! All right!

MILLER: He rebuilds alternators, starters and generators for people who want them custom built.

I see myself doing something in business, possibly business management. Maybe I'll take over my dad's business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great effort, guys. Great effort.

MILLER: That's a possibility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's doing my hair?

MILLER: Tonight is homecoming 2004.

My dad is bringing a hay wagon and about 20 kids are going to get all dressed up and get on it. It will just be two guys coming, but hopefully they don't show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope they have opportunities to go to good colleges and have jobs available, especially in our community. So if some of them want to come back here and live and raise their family here, like I did, then they have an opportunity to do that. I think that would be great.

WARREN: More and more of the middle class is finding they can't pass on to their children the same place and the same security. A young person today can't count on having a place in the middle class.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Aaron is probably going to a service industry, something like what I do. He'll have to go into the service industry, because the jobs aren't -- they just don't do like it was years ago. The job security just isn't there.

So I hope he stays in the area, because I -- I love the guy.

MILLER: Everything that we have is really nice and with the loss of jobs, like, people having to move away and stuff like that. I don't want to say that we won't have nice things any more, but that -- that's what's scary about it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We now return to CNN PRESENTS: COMPANY TOWN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHARON PARRY, EMPLOYMENT SOURCE: There are a lot of folks in this area that are thinking that Canton, you know, may not be the place that they need to be. But that's really not the whole story.

I mean, we see here, every day, we have employers calling us. They have job openings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can come in and sign in.

PARTY: The down side is as we're, you know, making increases on that side, we're also having more layoffs occur. So we haven't reached the point where we have more job openings than we have layoffs.

MICHELLE ALLISON, EMPLOYMENT SOURCE: All these folks are here this morning to apply for a general labor job paying $10 an hour. I would think it's normal for what people will take now.

There's no more, I'd say, $20 an hour jobs for general labor, like maybe factories had or the steel industry had before. So a lot of folks are going to be taking a cut.

GRAPHIC: On average, unemployed workers who find new jobs through Employment Source earn only 87 percent of their previous pay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just sign in and hand your application in.

C. ROOS: The red bag is for my Tuesday and Thursday classes.

What an experience school is.

My brown bag is for Monday and Wednesday classes, because there's so many books and they're so big.

If I had my choice, I would be working and I would start classes one or two at a time, not taking six classes at one time.

I don't know how these skinny little girls carry these book bags.

I'm up until 2 and 2:30, 3 a.m. in the morning almost every night doing homework. So far I've gotten two "C's." But I passed, so that's the way you have to look at it.

Here's my paper. She wanted us to write on something that has impacted our lives. Here's my corrected version of my paper.

"Losing my job at the Hoover Company has had a major impact on my life in many different ways."

I'm so overwhelmed with everything that you have to learn.

"I was content and felt safe where I was. Why make changes at my age?"

There is security in having jobs within the medical field. That's where the growth is.

GRAPHIC: If Candy gets the job she's training for, she'll make $9 to $12 an hour -- half what she made at the Hoover Co.

C. ROOS: Now I think about we've put so much into it I don't want to move. I don't want to lose the house. And I will do anything in my power to keep it. CREIGHTON: We are not just one or two companies. It doesn't mean that the world has stopped because Timken or Hoover has made a decision.

This is really what I call the last sore thumb of downtown.

You have to learn to accept change. And so those people that were raised in a manufacturing family will probably have to change the direction that they go in the next 10 to 15 years.

And what my dream is is to see some retail, because we'd like to get some people back downtown.

I've got to give them hope. I've got to give them good housing stock. I've got to give them a good tax base. And I've got to give them jobs. That's what I have to give them, hope.

RING: I try not to squeeze it too hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do what you have to do.

GRAPHIC: Jeff Ring is on track to become a registered nurse early next year.

RING: When I was working at the steel foundry, I was usually injured in some kind of serious manner, and I -- I got to be a patient. And I have a very good idea what good nursing care is all about.

It's just a little bit higher than this morning. You might be worried about your test.

So it's very easy for me to make that transition from one side of the clipboard to the other.

I'll be watching you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeff's going to stay with you. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Jeff.

RING: Sure.

She has a possible coronary artery blockage. We noticed that she had a little bit of an elevation in her vital signs, so we thought maybe it would be better for me to come down and she got a familiar face down here.

How are you doing?

It's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) after eight to five hours (ph).

It's nothing to worry about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope not.

RING: They're going to do all the work. You don't have to do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know.

RING: I think I have a fine rapport with her. I like my patient. I like all my patients.

What's up, Jimmy?

I was told that the one guy didn't want me to be his nurse.

Yes, I'll be a nurse here in four months.

Which I can't expect the guys that knew me. You know, they're picturing me up on top of the casting, beating the crap out of it. And they're thinking, "Yes, I want that guy putting an I.V. in me."

I'm looking forward to graduation. And I take state boards three or four weeks later, and I'm an R.N., just like I planned.

I interviewed with the emergency department at Aultman Hospital where I'm going to school, and it looks like they will probably have a position for me after the first year when I pass my state boards.

GRAPHIC: As a nurse, Jeff expects to earn about $23 an hour.

RING: It's almost twice as much as I could make at the steel foundry right now.

See, I didn't flunk out yet.

I feel that, once I finally become employed...

Promise not to jump out.

... that I'll work as long as I want to, because there's a huge need for it.

One of the best things that ever happened to me was the foundry closing down. It just didn't look like it at the time. Or I wouldn't have ever done this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: In 1933, the magazine of Wall Street predicted that the Timken Company, the steel and bearing manufacturer, would ride out the storm of the Great Depression, and Timken did.

Seventy years later, Timken and Stark County, Ohio, are trying to ride it out again. The facts of life in a company town in America today.

And that's it for this edition of CNN PRESENTS. I'm Aaron Brown. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next week.

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ANNOUNCER: The most compelling issues of our times.

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ANNOUNCER: The award-winning documentary series, CNN PRESENTS. Sunday, 8 Eastern on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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