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Shifting Gears: Five years after GM


It's been five years since General Motors ended decades of production at its hulking assembly plant in Janesville. In a two-day series, The Gazette takes an in-depth look at the economy and facilities left behind and how they're positioned for the future.


Five years after GM plant closed, local economy recovering nicely

The local economy hasn't replaced the high-paying manufacturing jobs that left with the General Motors assembly plant, but local economic development officials said the area has recovered better than they had hoped.

Approach to job training changes

Looking back, Bob Borremans isn't sure he would have done workforce training any differently in the wake of the General Motors closure.

Life in Janesville hasn't been as bad as often portrayed

A piece that was published in Mother Jones magazine in 2009 painted a much bleaker picture of Janesville than what was actually occurring.

Other sectors help manufacturing losses

It's no secret that the manufacturing sector—for decades the base of Rock County's economy—has been battered.

Frank Schultz: Disaster strikes; Janesville perseveres

The view of Janesville as another town about to dry up and blow away has not proved true, longtime Gazette reporter Frank Schultz writes.


City officials hope to turn lemons into lemonade at the idled GM plant

Questions abound about the future of the site of the idled GM site in Janesville. But residents can be hopeful the end result will be good for the community.

GM plant's future hinges on next contract

General Motors has been tight-lipped about the future of the Janesville plant, other than to say that future market conditions and the contract between the automaker and its union will dictate what happens.

Fair officials 'thrilled' with possible option to stay in Janesville

Janesville's assistant city manager has pitched a plan to move the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds to the General Motors plant site, and the fair board president says he's thrilled.

Officials hopeful contamination at GM site 'manageable'

Longtime Janesville residents might be surprised the General Motors plant doesn't glow at night after almost a century of intense industrial production.

Other cities show what could have been done with GM plant

On the same day General Motors' last SUV rolled off the line in Janesville, a similar scene was unfolding 400 miles away at GM's plant in the small town of Moraine, Ohio.

Our Views: We're building a new economy

Much has been accomplished since General Motors closed its Janesville plant five years ago, and much work remains.


GM history timeline

A timeline detailing the history of Janesville's GM plant.

Video: Anniversary of GM closure bittersweet for former tour guide

Former GM plant tour guide Bob Geisler has fond memories of the facility. But as planning proceeds on the property's future, the community's future concerns him more.

Photo gallery: GM history in black & white

Black & white photos documenting the history of Janesville's GM plant.

Photo gallery: GM history in color

Color photos documenting the more recent history of Janesville's GM plant.

Photo gallery: Last day at GM

Photos from the last day of production at Janesville's GM plant on December 23, 2008.