In August, 2017, the death knell sounded for yet another troubled American manufacturer: Appleton Coated, a historic mill in Wisconsin’s historic paper valley that had been the community’s economic mainstay for 128 years. The mill was sold to an industrial scrapper; hundreds of jobs were threatened, and a way of life hung in the balance.
But then the unlikely happened.
The mill’s union local and one county official leveraged an obscure legal strategy to stop the selloff. They did so in the face of widespread indifference from cynical politicians, including the state’s Republican governor and legislature, who were hell-bent on landing a plant to be built by Foxconn, a controversial foreign electronics manufacturer—even at the cost of over $3 billion in state subsidies.
Against all odds, the people won. Now the county official who joined in their fight, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, tells the story behind this remarkable turnaround. One Day Stronger is an inspiring saga of how a determined group of millworkers and other community-minded people triumphed over apathy, corporate avarice, and powerful political forces.
ONE DAY STRONGER by Thomas M. Nelson
"The book presents an engrossing courtroom drama, an acerbic indictment of bank policy that's also fair to the difficulties that business managers face, and communitarian paeans to blue-collar America: "This was my childhood. This was the American Dream." The result is a compelling story of a struggle for economic survival that strives to get beyond ideological polarization and highlight ways that unions, businesses, and governments can help ordinary people. An inspiring saga of grassroots political cooperation."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A captivating and comprehensive account."-BookLife Reviews
"One Day Stronger is a deeply reported business narrative about a paper mill in Nelson's area, saved from closure through its union's clever use of an obscure receivership statute. This is a riveting book about the state of corporate America today and one way out of the mess."-David Dayen, The American Prospect
"One Day Stronger is exactly the story American needs right now. It is not just an account of saving a plant, but of respecting the dignity of work, the value of tradition, and the possibility of change. May Appleton Coated be a model for the future of American manufacturing!"-Anne Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America