A young mayor strives to rebuild jobs lost in paper mills

Zach Vruwink (right) meets a spokesman for Mariani Cranberry at its new processing facility in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., on July 13, 2012.

In Wood County, where almost half of the paper industry jobs disappeared during the past decade, local leaders are using a regional approach to boost existing industries. Part two of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.

Rural Slide: Audio slideshows

In the three-day Rural Slide series, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism explores rural population losses in three Wisconsin counties — and potential statewide solutions. Below, short profiles of some of the young people interviewed by the Center’s Lukas Keapproth and Mario Koran.

Would young people stay in rural area for mining jobs?

A truck passes a mural depicting miners of the past who worked in the iron ore mines near Hurley, Wis., on July 5, 2012. Many Hurley residents believe the addition of a new mine could help rejuvenate their local economy.

In Iron County, which lost one of every seven residents from 2000 to 2010, residents say a controversial taconite mine may be the only way to reverse devastating population loss. Part one of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.