Burlington Makes, the World Takes: The Story of NRG Systems - James Fallows - The Atlantic:
Why Vermont, for this kind of business? Away from traditional manufacturing centers, and tech-world complexes, and even easy transport routes? The cold mountains and the early wind turbines are a sort-of explanation. Plus, as I heard, a 19th-century-onward heritage of precision machine production in the area. But there were two elements of the "why here? why now?" story I found provocative for further discussion.One was the long ripple effects of major R&D investments. Back in the 1960s, IBM decided to put a major chip plant next door to Burlington, in Essex Junction. At its peak, it employed more than 10,000 people; now it's closer to half that size. But we kept running into people whose parents had come to the area to work for IBM, and we kept hearing that this was one of the "everything was different after that ... " watershed events for local economy, even beyond the direct payroll effect. After that: the schools got better, the universities got better, there was a different talent pool, and a different sense of plausible businesses to be startup up and run in Burlington.'via Blog this'