The last decade was an especially tough one for Michigan: The state had the highest unemployment figures in the country for four years straight, peaking around 14 percent. Over the last decade, the population in 15 of its 20 largest cities shrank.
Editor's Note: Today we re-launch Front and Center, our special series about the Great Lakes region. In June and July, WBEZ broadcast more than 30 stories focused on water, examining everything from pollution to climate change to invasive species.
When the United States was a largely agrarian economy, the Great Lakes provided irrigation and transportation and helped the region to become a central food source. In the industrial age, the lakes provided the large amounts of water needed for manufacturing. But what about now?
After School Matters is practically a household name in Chicago. It's the city's premier afterschool program, founded 20 years ago by former first lady Maggie Daley. It offers needy high school students apprenticeships—20,000 of them this year alone.
This winter, President Obama took the unusual step of naming Ron Bloom his assistant for manufacturing. But Bloom stepped down in August to return to his family in Pittsburgh. He hasn’t been replaced. This comes as manufacturers in our region are clamoring for attention.
Navistar builds all kinds of trucks across North America: at non-union factories in the South and Mexico, as well as union shops in the Midwest. But the United Auto Workers at its Springfield, Ohio plant said a year of changes has made them competitive with those non-union plants.
President Obama delivered his jobs bill to Congress Monday. He also gave legislators a nudge to put politics aside to put Americans to work. But how easy is that? A recent study showed some companies cannot find enough skilled workers despite a high number of Americans looking for work.