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Byline: Bob Gary Jr.
Jul. 28--For Chattanoogan James Troutman, manufacturing has been more than a way to make a living for nearly 30 years.
"My grandfather worked at Lodge Manufacturing in South Pittsburg for 35 years," said the Wheland Foundry electrician. "So did my dad. I've been at Wheland 24 years, but I started at Lodge when I was 15 and worked there five years.
"It's a little personal to me."
Chattanooga used to be a place where lots of people built lots of things. In 1974, nearly four in 10 of the city's non-agricultural employees worked in manufacturing. Chattanooga was eighth among the nation's metropolitan areas in that regard.
Today, however, manufacturing makes up barely 20 percent of the work force in the onetime "Dynamo of Dixie." More than 1,200 workers have been or will be idled in …