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Sharlene and Randy Carpenter and their granddaughter, Riley.
Sharlene and Randy Carpenter and their granddaughter, Riley.

A Year of Hard Choices: Checking in with the Carpenters

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Yesterday in the first installment of our Year of Hard Choices series, we heard economics professor Greg Gardner say manufacturing jobs have been the early victims of the recession in the North Country. General Motors in Massena and Covidien in Watertown are shutting down entirely. Alcoa and New York Air Brake have laid off workers. Corning halved its workforce in 2008. That means hundreds of people around the North Country can no longer rely on a steady wage. They'll spend less at stores, theaters, restaurants, and car dealerships. Their lean times trickle down to local businesses, which may then suffer layoffs of their own. Sharlene Carpenter got her pink slip from Corning in late December, just a few months after her husband, Randy, lost his job at a local pallet mill. For today's installment in our Year of Hard Choices series, we check back with Sharlene and Randy Carpenter at their home in Heuvelton. As David Sommerstein reports, their time off of work hasn't been so bad, but tough choices loom ahead.

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David Sommerstein
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