Lisa Conrad, who has worked for Carhartt for 39 years, inspects a completed pair of pants at the Carhartt sewing center in Irvine. Carhartt has operated in Irvine since 1932, and they currently produce two kinds of Carhartt work pants. Good-paying jobs are difficult to find, and the region’s labor participation has dropped to 44 percent, significantly lower than the nation’s 63 percent average.
Born of Water:
Coal mining sustained families for generations along the Kentucky River water basin. But today, many confront a crisis of faith in an industry that has left the region environmentally and economically vulnerable.