Changing Gears: What Gary can learn from Pittsburgh

November 19, 2010

By Michael Puente

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(WBEZ/Michael Puente)
Ben Clement's job is to attract new businesses to Gary. He's in front of an empty lot where a Chicago company plans to build.

Pittsburgh and steel began a courtship in the late 1800s. That affair would eventually produce a lovechild: Gary, Indiana. In the early 20th century, Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel Corporation decided the best spot near Chicago to build its new mill would be Gary.

The new mill employed thousands and helped the young city of Gary grow big and strong. But when the once plentiful steel jobs began to disappear, both cities fell on hard times.

"Changing Gears
" has been looking at the reinvention of Pittsburgh, and in this final report WBEZ’s Michael Puente went to Gary to see if this smaller Steel Town can learn from its industrial mother. He found that old habits are hard to break.