This latest episode of Discover Janesville involved interviews with three people who spent many years working at the General Motors plant in Janesville. This is only the latest of several projects looking to document the experience and impact that the General Motors had on Janesville over its long history here. One of the most comprehensive attempts to document the history of GM in Janesville can be found at the Hedberg Public Library website. Titled “In Their Own Words”, it is a series of first-person accounts of people who worked at the plant. These interviews were recorded in the mid-1970s and at this point certainly deserve some recognition for becoming a historical artifact themselves.
Check out the interviews for yourself by clicking here
Tom Westrick was employed at the General Motors plant for many years and during that time he went from working on the line to running the education center. Currently a chair on the Blackhawk Technical College board, Tom talked about the experience of working at the plant and about the difference that education made in the lives of workers, some of whom decided to continue their education after years of working at the plant.
Tom Westrick part 1
Tom Westrick part 2
David Jennings was part of the management team at the General Motors plant and in our interview he talked about joining GM as a young local kid and what it was like to work at a plant that was such a big part of our community for so many years. We also talked about David’s new adventure as the Executive Director of the Rotary Botanic Gardens, one of Janesville’s jewels.
David Jennings part 1
David Jennings part 2
David Jennings part 3
Tom has been at the General Motors for 42 years, which is a long time by any measure. But on top of that Tom also spent 16 years on the Janesville City Council. In our conversation we touched on all of those things as well as Tom’s more recent involvement with the Janesville Noon Lions.
Tom Brien part 1
Tom Brien part 2
Tom Brien part 3