Springfield was the birthplace of the industrial revolution in America and a manufacturing powerhouse into the 1960s when its major industries left for lower cost locations and the city’s economy collapsed. After decades of economic challenges and demographic changes that made Springfield a “majority minority” city, significant projects are under development including a casino, union station, and subway manufacturing by a Chinese company, Changchun Railway, in addition to new community-based development. This class will explore the dynamics of urban economic change and possible economic futures. Springfield will be our laboratory, and we will engage with leaders from diverse sectors. We will examine the city through the lens of high profile national debates about free trade, immigration, income inequality, racial inequities, and police-community relations. Student research will contribute to
future community-based economic development work in Springfield.
Fred Rose Co-Directs Wellspring, which is a community-based development project creating a network of worker-owned cooperatives to provide jobs and wealth for low income Springfield residents. For more information, see http://wellspring.coop