Can a booming city with a green economy be built to last?

When the plant cut production in the 2000s and closed in 2015, during the days of white-collar job cuts, Normal felt the pinch. Supplier...


When the plant cut production in the 2000s and closed in 2015, during the days of white-collar job cuts, Normal felt the pinch. Suppliers have decamped and many workers have left in search of new jobs. Uptown, an elegant brick-accented neighborhood with a restored 1930s theater and two suddenly oversized hotels, has become a monument to the city’s declining prosperity.

Local politicians and business leaders have adopted Rivian, who is based in Michigan and has offices in other states, Canada and Britain, as a way to fill the void. But in a place that has undergone such changes of fortune, locals can be forgiven for wondering how long today’s good times will last.

Electric vehicles are less labor intensive than gasoline vehicles. And while Rivian’s outlook looks strong – he’s filed for a public share purchase offer in August, seeking a valuation of around $ 70 billion – the company could be overtaken by a growing list of competitors. At some point, the spending frenzy will end and the local industry will increase or decrease depending on whether Rivian can build up a large customer base.

The initial foam is already dissipating. After reaching more than 200 employees earlier this year, Weber Electric has now only about 100. – lights over construction.

In this way, the electric vehicle boom is kind of a microcosm for the broader transition to a low-carbon economy: as governments and investors invest hundreds of billions of dollars in green industries, there will be certainly a first shock. But will it last?

Not everyone at Normal has a connection to the Rivian plant, the company’s only production plant; it’s just like that sometimes. Sitting in the factory hall one June afternoon, Katy Tilley, who helps oversee workplace operations such as site design and catering, said her younger brother, who had just left the Marine Corps, began in the business next week.

“My little brother works in the battery department! her colleague Laura Ewan, a community relations worker, intervened. “We were so different that our parents never imagined we were working in the same place.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Can a booming city with a green economy be built to last?
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