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: Mayor Michael Bell's office is adorned with Chinese gifts like this screen.
The Midwest is used to thinking of China as the source of many of our problems: it’s where many jobs and factories went. But in Toledo, China is no...

  • Added: Jun 24, 2011
  • Length: 05:15
Caption: Laid off from Caterpillar, Javier Galvez is opening up a pizza shop in Aurora to cater to growing Latino families ., Credit: Niala Boodhoo
Recent census reports show Midwestern cities are shrinking and people are moving out. But one group is actually growing - the Hispanic population. ...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and

  • Added: Jun 17, 2011
  • Length: 06:33
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings at the store Music Saves, as he celebrates the release of his new album. , Credit: Dan Bobkoff
Austin, Texas markets itself as the live music capital of the world. Nashville calls itself the music city and it’s become more than just country. ...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Added: Jun 17, 2011
  • Length: 03:44
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Training the next generation of care providers becomes increasingly important as the population ages. , Credit: Kate Davidson
Nursing is a hot career. The federal government says it will create more new jobs than any other profession in the coming years … almost 600,000 jo...

  • Added: Jun 17, 2011
  • Length: 03:36
Caption: Second year nursing students Travis Pierce, Shelby Feldpausch, Staci Pierson (kneeling), Jennifer Meaton, Ashley Neybert and Jamie Hill. And of course, Mr. Pointer, center. , Credit: Kate Davidson
The country is facing a nursing shortage. But schools in our region can’t keep up with the demand for nursing education. Changing Gears is a projec...

  • Added: Jun 17, 2011
  • Length: 03:42
Caption: Students in the Everyday Digital Literacy class, at the Greater Auburn Gresham Community Development Corp.'s Family Net Center , Credit: Niala Boodhoo
When you talk about a digital divide, you’re probably thinking of inner city kids who don’t have ready access to the Internet. But there’s another ...

  • Added: Jun 17, 2011
  • Length: 04:24
Caption: Rincon Park and Cupid's Span in the Embarcadero. , Credit: Dewet. Used under GNU Free Documentation License.
How did you get to work this morning? Did you take a freeway into a city? What if it weren’t there? It’s a distinct possibility. Half a century aft...

  • Added: Jun 16, 2011
  • Length: 04:04
Caption: Little Village business owner Jesus Davila in front of one of his four businesses, Davila's Restaurant, in Chicago..
Cities across the Midwest are full of immigrant stories. Previous generations filled the factories, building cars, furniture and steel. Now that th...

Bought by WAMC Northeast Public Radio

  • Added: Jun 16, 2011
  • Length: 04:01
  • Purchases: 1
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By now, you’ve probably heard of the Chevrolet Volt. That plug-in hybrid has been promoted for years as a sign that General Motors can still innova...

  • Added: Jun 07, 2011
  • Length: 03:56
Caption: Tom Malvetis, owner Unicorn Tavern. , Credit: Kyle Leppek
The number of older Americans working full time has been rising steadily for years. Many work because they have to. Some work because they want to ...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Added: Jun 07, 2011
  • Length: 03:50
  • Purchases: 1