Changing Gears

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What We Are: Changing Gears is a public media project that looks at the reinvention of the industrial Midwest. It is a collaboration by WBEZ Chicago, Michigan Radio, and ideastream Cleveland. In news reports, features, documentaries and long-form journalism, Changing Gears is looking at the future of the Great Lakes region. It also hosts public events.

Where We Are: Changing Gears' Web site is On Twitter, follow @ChGears. Changing Gears is also on Facebook.

Who We Are: Senior Editor Micki Maynard; Cleveland reporter Dan Bobkoff; Chicago reporter Niala Boodhoo; Ann Arbor reporter Kate Davidson; Senior Web Producer George Nemeth.


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37 Pieces

Changing Gears explores the economic transformation of the industrial Midwest, through the stories of people driving and experiencing this change.


Caption: Wendy Whitmore, Credit: Preeti Upadhyaya
Unemployment numbers in the Midwest are bad. Not as bad as when the recession was at its worst, but there are still a lot of people looking for job...

  • Added: Mar 30, 2012
  • Length: 03:38
Caption: Part-time farmer Howard Haselhuhn at his West Michigan hops farm., Credit: Lindsey Smith
Our Changing Gears team has been looking into some of the hidden assets of the Midwest - the parts of our economy that don’t often get noticed when...

  • Added: Mar 21, 2012
  • Length: 03:58
Caption: Instructor Steve Henkelman programs a CNC machine at Grand Rapids Community College., Credit: Dustin Dwyer
Our Changing Gears team is looking into some of the hidden assets of the industrial Midwest - the parts of our economy that don’t often get noticed...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Added: Mar 16, 2012
  • Length: 03:22
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Victor Gregory teaches high schoolers about cars. He worries when they take on debt after graduation.
Americans owe close to a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Our Changing Gears project has been reporting on that debt, much of which comes fro...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Added: Mar 08, 2012
  • Length: 03:50
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Like most of his classmates, Tom Amundson took out federal loans to attend barber school, Credit: Kate Davidson
Our Changing Gears project is looking at student debt. We know many families struggle to afford traditional colleges. But a lot of student debt com...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and WAMC Northeast Public Radio

  • Added: Feb 29, 2012
  • Length: 03:33
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Tom Wahlrab from Welcome Dayton speaks to Global Detroit.
While Alabama was putting out the most restrictive laws against illegal immigrants in the country, Dayton officials were putting out the welcome ma...

  • Added: Feb 27, 2012
  • Length: 03:34
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Here in the Midwest, people are looking for any way to help the economy be strong again. But there’s one asset in our economy that is sometimes ove...

  • Added: Feb 20, 2012
  • Length: 03:51
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Midwest states are changing the relationship between unions and workers. This year, Indiana became the first in the region to become a right to wor...

  • Added: Feb 20, 2012
  • Length: 04:15
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The nation was riveted on Madison Wisconsin last year when tens of thousands of people protested Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to dismantle most uni...

  • Added: Feb 20, 2012
  • Length: 04:03
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In the Midwest, it’s hard to get around without a car. These days, people are holding onto them longer … the average vehicle age is almost 11 years...

Bought by Delta College Public Radio

  • Added: Feb 20, 2012
  • Length: 03:46
  • Purchases: 1