In the town of Ware, vacant storefronts are becoming a common sight. Downtown Ware business owner Joel Harder says Ware is a forgotten town, and hopes the next governor of Massachusetts will at least try to help.
"I don’t know what any one person can do to solve any of these problems. But I would like to see our governor focus more on Western Mass.," Harder says.
With an unemployment rate slightly higher than the state average and very few living wage jobs in town, many Ware residents are struggling to make ends meet.
So what does it take for towns like Ware to get out of this economic downturn?
"I think that Ware is increasingly going to become a commuter place, that people will have to great distances to find jobs, and that this is going to be the shape of things to come for them," says Dr. John Mullin, director of the Center for Economic Development at UMass Amherst.
WBUR's Bob Oakes speaks with Mullin about the issues Ware faces and its economic future.
This program aired on September 22, 2010.