Rubbermaid Leaves Wooster
Rubbermaid’s soaring success did not last forever. In 1994, Fortune magazine named Rubbermaid “America’s most admired corporation,” but within a few years, the company’s profits had begun to decline, faced with rising raw materials costs and pressure from big box retailers to keep prices low. Newell, an Illinois-based housewares corporation, bought Rubbermaid in 1998 and soon relocated its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.1
The loss of the town’s largest industry certainly came as a blow to Wooster. For many, economic recovery remains an ongoing process. Unlike many other Rust Belt towns, however, Wooster has been successful in reshaping its local identity in the absence of the company that helped define its history.
Memories of Rubbermaid
After taking a temporary position at Rubbermaid that she thought would last only six weeks, Wooster's Rozella Stinebring stayed at the company for 37 years, from 1959 to 1997.
Click on the video to the right to hear memories from her time at Rubbermaid.
1 Russell, John and Sally Cook. “Sale of Company Gives Wooster Identity Crisis.” Akron Beacon Journal. Oct. 22, 1998. A1.