There was a time when the American dream called Detroit home. Thousands of people flocked to factory work in what would become known as the Motor City. Now, the headlines read, contracts, strikes and layoffs.

The auto industry in Detroit is much like a car itself — built from the ground up, broken down and repaired, but as a main staple of employment for nearly a quarter of a million people directly, the industry can either drive or drag family finances. Domestic car sales were up by 10 percent in September for the Big Three — General Motors, Chrysler or Ford, but many Detroiters are struggling through the recession, facing a two-tier wage system, strict attendance policies or high unemployment rates. For most of us, the only time we think about GM, Ford or Chrysler is when we go to the dealership to get a car, but to the people who live and breathe it everyday, their view is completely different. Despite all of the struggles autoworkers face in a broken economy, some say they’re not giving up on the American dream. Elyse Mickalonis reports.

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