Blenko Glass, in the small West Virginia town of Milton, has been in business since 1893. It used to be one of many glassmaking companies in West Virginia. Now, there are only a few left.
On the hot factory floor, two of the 20 or so glass workers were in their twenties. Both declined to talk with me, so I talked with their boss, Randy Ryder, 52, a Milton native who’s been working there for 34 years.
He says the business is having trouble attracting young people to learn the skill. The two young workers I saw are the only ones he has, though he’d like to have 10 more. “Can’t get ‘em to do it no more,” he said, noting that he worries about the future. “I’d like to be able to turn it into good hands.”
(Photo note: Randy is in the one in the blue shirt)
Here’s coal miner Jordan Bridges and his family in Logan, WV. They’re hoping to buy a house soon, but he’s bracing for layoffs next month. Interview coming soon…
The mountainous landscape of West Virginia is hard to capture in a square photo. But I’ll keep trying. Here’s the city of Logan, WV. Population: approx. 1,780.