The death and life of Asheboro, N.C.

Asheboro, N.C., was once considered a dying town, but it fought back and now exists somewhere between recovery and recession

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Amelia Hill: Right.

Scott Pelley: Have you been spending some of that savings to keep the doors open?

Amelia Hill: I've had to, I sure have. Don't want to dig any deeper in it.

Scott Pelley: Today the only full-time employees are you and your daughter?

Amelia Hill: Right. Right.

Scott Pelley: You're gonna lay off your own daughter?

Amelia Hill: I'm gonna lay off my own daughter.

They turned the bank into a town museum. It's open two days a month which is more than its neighbors.

Scott Pelley: These were all the people who came to the cafe and sat at the counter and drank coffee in the afternoon, right--

Amelia Hill: Right. Right.

Scott Pelley: These were your people?

Amelia Hill: Those were my people.

Scott Pelley: And now you're one of them.

Amelia Hill: And now, I'm one of 'em.

Scott Pelley: We couldn't find a better example of what's happening to American manufacturing than this plant on a hilltop in Randolph County. This used to be a textile plant. They started building it in 1949. They built the last addition on it in 1995. But the plant closed and now they're tearing half of it down. The manager told us that they just can't find a buyer who has enough employees to need this much space.

In the year 2000, there were 17 million Americans who were working in manufacturing. Now there are just over 12 million. That's five million jobs lost in manufacturing in just the last 12 years. But you can also see, rising from the debris of the recession, is a new economy in Asheboro.

Klaussner Furniture was forced to lay off half its workers, lost to Chinese imports. Now it's holding on to the others by exporting to China. Klaussner Furniture is expensive in China but, turns out, the growing Chinese middle class thinks the "Made In America" label is a status symbol.

"Made In America" is an advantage for the Technimark company which has created 800 jobs here. It makes plastic products including iPhone covers. They're growing because they can deliver a customer's new product in two weeks when it can take two months to ship the same thing from China.

Up the road in Kernersville, even the abandoned tobacco barns are turning a new leaf -- not with one big company moving in, but dozens of new entrepreneurs who are setting up shops. A lot of them were down on their luck and had no choice but to cook up a new idea.

Jenny Fulton: I grew up on pickles. My grandmother used to make pickles. We'd--we always had pickles in the house, and I love 'em.

Jenny Fulton and Ashlee Furr were laid off stock brokers. They poured their savings into Miss Jenny's Pickles.

They're in more than 500 stores, some of them in China, and soon to be in Mongolia.