“What’s to stop us now from turning Detroit — its highly trained engineering talent, its skilled and unskilled workforce desperate for employment, its underutilized production facilities — into the Arsenal of the Renewable Energy Future?

If we did, Detroit could go back to building something America needs. As a nation, we could prove that we can still make things. And while we’re at it, we could regenerate not just a city but our sense of who we are.”

Thanks to Julia for sending me this link to Time Magazine’s most recent installment in their Detroit series. It’s clear to me, and to a great many of other people, that this nation needs jobs. Detroit is a prime example of why the quality of the jobs is just as important as quantity. As a nation, are we ready to wake up to the fact that we have an incredibly huge under-educated, under-served urban underclass of people who are very poorly qualified to hold jobs?

This makes me think back to my time living on Chicago’s West side… in a neighborhood that was worse than Detroit’s current 28.9% unemployment. I remember the two-block-long line for jobs when a new dollar store opened up. One politician there said that the unemployment rate of her congressional district was about 60% unemployment – and that was in 2005, when few people recognized we had a problem.

Who is going to go into Detroit and implement Van Jones’ green jobs program? Who is willing to invest time and energy into an area so blighted that there are no services, no food, and no neighbors?

This sounds like a job for some serious superhero action…

More to come. Stay tuned!

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