Peoria, Ill., without Caterpillar (CAT)? Benton Harbor, Mich., without Whirlpool (WHR)? Columbus, Ind., without Cummins Engine (CMI)?
One of America’s under-appreciated relationships is the one between smaller cities and bigger companies, an often-happy exchange of quality-of-life for the combination of well-paying and skilled jobs, economic growth and stability, and corporate generosity to support cultural and educational institutions.
For every Cummins Engine, approaching its 100th anniversary in 2019 as civic benefactor to Columbus, however, there are scores of middle market and larger companies, based in smaller cities, that have sold to larger competitors and then packed up their factories and left town. The effect is devastating.