Galesburg, Illinois is a mid-sized town of 35000, driven mainly by blue collar work (Maytag, Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad) and also with significant importance as a regional center for health care. It is home to Knox College and Carl Sandburg College.

In late 2002, Maytag announced that it was moving its refrigerator division out of Galesburg. The plant, employing 1600 people, had been the city's lifeblood for the past couple decades. With Maytag's imminent relocation to cheaper labor in Mexico, Galesburg was in danger of severe depression.