Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Reasons Not to Live in Dayton

There's been a bit of an uptick in crime here around Dayton, for good reason. I often joked that I didn't have a problem walking around downtown Dayton at night cause hey, yo, I lived in South Africa. But now that thing is happening here that used to happen out there: all of sudden there are more and more people talking about how they or someone they know has been raped or had their car/house broken into. Downtown, broad daylight, nice neighborhoods, you name it. Random smash and grab.

Obviously, it's still nothing like South Africa, but as your poor of unemployed starts to grow - particularly as winter approaches - and they're not seeing any help, hope, or end in sight, people get desperate.

Dayton's been a dying town since long before I got here, but closing GM may just shut most of it down for good.

It's not that there aren't industries - there's aerospace and Wright State and lots of government jobs at the base. But there's not a whole lot of entry level unskilled jobs around here anymore, and Dayton still has a huge, huge pool of unskilled labor. Who are getting totally fucked right now. Not that things weren't bad before.

Why don't we have government-funded workers' programs that retrains people for new jobs after major layoffs? I met a couple of tower guys working in telcom who were retrained after major layoffs at a manufacturing plant nearly two decades ago. They got trained in telcom and suddenly had a future.

A lot of these jobs are dying jobs. It's why I'm lukewarm about bailing out the auto industry. It's in trouble because it's not working. Let's shift our focus to something that works. We have new and emerging technologies. We have job needs. We just don't have the skilled labor to put in there. And nobody wants to foot the bill for retraining, so a whole city dies.

Columbus and Cincinnati are nice, at least.

EDIT: It turns out Dayton *does* have a place like this (thanks, Tyim!). God knows Dayton has enough jobs in aerospace and the health industry. There are people to do the work. They just need the training.

2 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

tyim courts said...

NPR had a story on Dayton's Job Center yesterday.

Kameron Hurley said...