MUNCIE — Time was when the future of Muncie, its families and its culture, arrived on buses driven north out of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Through the mid-20th century, thousands of migrants built lives In Delaware County with income provided by employers carrying reliable names like General Motors, Borg-Warner Automotive, Westinghouse, Ball Brothers and Marhoefer.

They were brands as strong as America itself after World War II.

"They would bring them here to work," said Brad Bookout, economic development director for Delaware County. "That led to an area explosion in housing. Looking in the rear view mirror, it's the reason a lot us of are here Delaware County today."

From the archives: Factory workers were the men and woman who made Muncie

Just a generation or two later, as new employers, including manufacturers, have committed themselves to Muncie and Delaware County, there is no plentiful supply of laborers to be transported to the factory door. Muncie, Indiana and the nation are still in the grips of a labor shortage.

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