In Hard-Hit Ohio Steel Town, Trump and Sanders Resonate

In Hard-Hit Ohio Steel Town, Trump and Sanders Resonate

by Leigh Ann Caldwell and Matt Rivera NBC News

LORAIN, Ohio - The landscape here looks like a wasteland. And it’s about to get worse.

Two steel mills in this city, 30 miles west of Cleveland on Lake Erie, are set to close by the end of March, laying off hundreds of people in an area that has seen jobs slowly erode for more than two decades.

The final 130 workers at Republic Steel will be out of work when the plant rolls its final order of steel tubular products for oil drilling and fracking equipment in two weeks. And at U.S. Steel, the final 200 workers will also be out of jobs at the end of March.

“It’s a sad month,” said Brian Sealy, a union official for the United Steelworkers in Lorain. “Overall the trickle-down effect on this community - the closed-up downtown - continues. That trickle-down effect is devastating to a community like this.”

Downtown Lorain is dotted with boarded businesses and deteriorating buildings while dollar stores and run-down used car lots fill in the gaps. The downtown is mostly empty, hosting building after building of blight and despair.

It’s a much different scenario than 30 years ago in the 1980s when the steel mills, the largest employers in town, were busy and employed more than 10,000 people…

Admittedly, Lorain, a suburb of Cleveland has been hard hit, but Lorain has always been an awful place. And no, I’m not from there, but I know someone who is.

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