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Original article URL: http://bridgemi.com/2015/02/halting-the-exodus-of-young-workers-from-northern-michigan/

Economy & competitive position

Poverty in paradise: Halting the exodus of young workers from northern Michigan

Second of two parts

One lives in North Carolina, practicing social work. Another teaches in suburban Detroit. Still another enjoys life in San Francisco, as he finishes a post-doctoral program and contemplates a job in one of several national research corridors.

 Cancer researcher Michael Winter: “There is nothing in northern Michigan I could even apply to.” (Photo courtesy of Michael Winter)

Cancer researcher Michael Winter: “There is nothing in northern Michigan I could even apply to.” (Photo courtesy of Michael Winter)

They are the Missing Millennials, those who reached adulthood in northern Michigan around 2000 – and fled to lives and careers far from home. They have plenty of company among former residents of Charlevoix, Emmet and Cheboygan counties, at the top of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

“A lot of my classmates are living out of the state, or they are living in metro Grand Rapids or Detroit,” said Michael Winter, 30, a 2002 graduate of Petoskey High School. He went from there to Kalamazoo College, where he graduated in 2006. He earned a doctorate in chemistry in 2011 from the University of California at Berkeley and now resides in San Francisco, where he is conducting postdoctoral cancer research at the University of California at San Francisco.

He’s leaning toward a private-sector job, citing his principal options as Boston, San Diego or the Bay Area. “There is nothing in northern Michigan I could even apply to,” Winter said.

Since 2000, there are far fewer young adults in the state’s northern counties. While the same can be said for much of Michigan, the decline was steeper in the Charlevoix-Emmet-Cheboygan region. How steep? Between 2000 and 2013, the number of residents aged 25-to-44 fell by more than 5,000, a staggering 22 percent decline.

“That’s a significant drop,” said Carlin Smith, director of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Its most obvious cause offers no easy solution, Smith said: The region simply lacks enough professional jobs to support the talented, ambitious people who grow up here.

“It’s a real challenge. There are minimal choices in certain professions in this region. We do have some good jobs in engineering and some good programming jobs. But it’s just not as high as what you would find in a larger metropolitan area.”

As an example, Smith notes that a college graduate with a marketing degree could probably count on “two hands” the number of full-time marketing jobs in Emmet and Cheboygan counties.

Smith said the scarcity of certain professional jobs also makes business recruitment of professional couples difficult.

“There are situations where we’ve been recruiting somebody to work here but the person’s wife can’t find a job. Or we’ve found a job for the wife and and they can’t come because the husband can’t find a job.”

Reluctant departures

Adam Wager, 28, graduated from Charlevoix High School in 2005, then from Grand Valley State University in 2010 with a degree in education. “Initially, I looked everywhere,” Wager said.

With no prospects for a teaching job in northern Michigan, he focused on suburban Detroit. He was hired just a few months after graduation as a kindergarten teacher for Utica Community Schools. He misses his childhood home, the water skiing, snowboarding and wakeboarding that was part of his adolescence.

“I loved growing up in Charlevoix. I miss the summers and my friends. But the jobs really aren’t there.”

Winter, the cancer researcher, is similarly torn. He figures he could move back home and see a lot of his old friends; but maybe not for several decades, when his career is over. Who wouldn’t want to come back to a region with so much to offer?

“I really did like growing up there,” Winter said. “I think it’s a place a lot of people my age might retire.”

Seasonal work, seasonal earnings

This exodus of the young extends beyond the professional class, with workers at the low end of the wage scale finding it difficult to save.

A housing study by Networks Northwest, a 10-county regional planning body, found that a minimum-wage worker would need to work 57 hours a week in Cheboygan County to afford an average rental in the county. The required workweek goes up to 60 hours in Charlevoix County and 70 hours in Emmet County.

Charlevoix, Emmet and Cheboygan counties are particularly dependent on service sector jobs linked to tourism. But those jobs often start around $9 an hour — and may end with the close of summer tourism or the winter ski season. Some of those workers end up leaving the region to seek steadier employment and income.

“It is very much a challenge for young workers, when you are working jobs in a seasonal economy like ours,” said Sarah Lucas, regional planning manager for Networks Northwest.

“You might be piecing jobs together to make ends meet in the off-season. Even if your employment is year round, you might not have that much work.”

Elaine Wood, executive director of Networks Northwest, sees other issues for this age group. She notes that area employers struggle to find qualified welders, machinists, robotics operators and other skilled trades positions. If more local workers could fill those jobs ‒ earning upwards of $14 an hour ‒ they would be more likely to stick around.

“There are really a couple of problems. How to retain young people in the first place? The second is how to bring them back,” she said.

Keeping the young at home

One solution to keeping young workers around: Networks Northwest expects this year to launch a $3,000 scholarship program for 25 high school students, largely funded by a $65,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The program includes a customized senior year of high school, combining career and technical education with community college courses. As seniors, these students will typically begin an unpaid internship with a local firm, then transition to two years of community college and paid internship. Wood expects most to have jobs with they graduate.

“It’s really like the old-fashioned apprenticeship model,” Wood said.

“Our idea is that if a young person is tied to a two- or three-year training program and they are attached to an employer, they are not going to leave. Those are good-paying jobs.”

Wood said the agency eventually would like to expand the program to 300 scholarships.

The program doesn’t extend to Cheboygan County, which is poorer than Charlevoix and Emmet counties. Cheboygen County’s only K-12 career technical training program is at Cheboygan High School; the nearest community college is in Petoskey.

Drawing young professionals home

Convincing young adults to return to northern Michigan is another matter. After all, the cities of Cheboygan and Petoskey can’t offer expats what they enjoy in Boston or Chicago. But the reverse is also true.

Local officials said they believe part of their task is to sell outsiders what Chicago or Boston cannot ‒ breathtaking natural beauty, boundless recreational prospects and small-town ambience.

“We can’t compete with a place like Chicago on the opera or the night life or things that,” said Andy Hayes, president of Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, a nonprofit development organization serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties.

“But we have a lot of things the big city doesn’t.”

Last summer, Mathias McCauley, director of strategic initiatives for Networks Northwest, attended a jobs fair set up by MEDC at Ford Field in Detroit.

Part of his job: Market the region to prospective employees.

“It’s not only about framing business conditions but also the quality of life,” McCauley said. “If an individual has interests in the outdoors, in hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, we can compete with any region in the United States and internationally. To have all those things in one region at a pretty high level is pretty important.”

Networks Northwest augments its recruiting by linking to a trail map for the region, offering clickable access to trails for everything from snowmobiling to cross-county skiing to bicycling to hiking. “Place does matter,” McCauley said.

Some young entrepreneurs are already convinced.

Estelle Osment: “I loved growing up in Charlevoix. But the jobs really aren’t there.” (Photo courtesy of Estelle Osment)

Estelle Osment: “I loved growing up in Charlevoix. But the jobs really aren’t there.” (Photo courtesy of Estelle Osment)

Jordan Breighner, 28, grew up in Harbor Springs but left for Utah, then for national politics before eventually coming home to launch Coolhouse Labs, a startup incubator for Internet ventures. He figures some young upstarts will get a taste for life Up North, and stick around.

“For us, it’s life, then jobs,” Breighner said of his ilk. “Coming out of college during the crash, we saw the old bargain (working your way up) doesn’t exist anymore. We’ve refocused on quality of life as a way of thinking about it.”

But for Estelle Osment, 32, a 2000 graduate of Boyne City High School, it wasn’t about an urge to move to a thriving urban area. She loved where she grew up. It was about a job.

Osment earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Western Michigan University in 2005, then began a job search. “Boyne City is so small ‒ I may have looked a little bit in Petoskey in human services. But I knew with a bachelor’s degree I really had to go somewhere else,” she said.

With friends in North Carolina, she decided to move there and try to find work. Before leaving, she sent out a couple of applications to prospective employers. “It was the day I was driving I got a call from the first place that hired me,” she said.

Still living in Raleigh, she now has a master’s degree and works in a local mental health crisis center. Osment said her story is common among her peers. “A lot of people from my graduating class moved out of state for better opportunities.”

She said she wouldn’t mind moving home ‒ if she could find a job as good what she holds now. “The skiing, the lakes, the camping ‒ it’s beautiful,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place.”

Ted Roelofs worked for the Grand Rapids Press for 30 years, where he covered everything from politics to social services to military affairs. He has earned numerous awards, including for work in Albania during the 1999 Kosovo refugee crisis.

28 comments from Bridge readers.Add mine!

  1. ***

    Isn’t the term “paradise” just a bit over the top? I mean its nice and all that but come on…. :)

    1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

      ***,

      I don’t think so. I live in paradise, Paradise Township, that is in Grand Traverse County.

      Many of the towns around reflect a similar optimism about the life people intended to create when they originally came to this area, like Beulah, for Beulah Land in Bible.

      My grandfather had worked in a boom town in the upper peninsula for a short while and came home with this high optimism. He called his town and dream Gogebic. It did not thrive and can not be found on any map, new or old.

  2. Matt

    Ted, did you really think about this or did you just throw together something to meet a deadline? Seems as I recall, that the entire human experience for the last 100,000 +++ years has been one of seeking better opportunities, whether that be in their native location or another. Why do you think that somehow this has changed?

    1. david zeman

      Matt,

      I would, respectfully, disagree that this article implies it’s somehow bad for young people to look elsewhere to fulfill their ambitions. You’re absolutely right, that’s a common urge in most places. What the article is addressing are two dynamics:
      1. That so many of the young people, working class and professional, expressed a desire to stay in this region that they love and that they are leaving with some reluctance because there is a lack of economic opportunity, at least for the careers they envision.
      2. That this region is losing young people at an alarming rate, and not somehow replacing them, even in comparison with the rest of Michigan. So for the business community and residents in general there is the legitimate concern over what can be done to make northern Michigan more attractive for young to mid-career workers.

      David Zeman
      Bridge editor

      1. Matt

        This migration pattern from rural/countryside to big cities is worldwide not hardly just N Mi. It’s a function of high mechanization of agriculture and other extractive industries and towards more collaborative enterprises. Also away from lower paid jobs resort/ tourism services offer. I doubt that many of the thousands who left the farms over the last 100 years believe it’s necessarily a bad thing or something to remedy. Not that everyone will like all of it. Thanks.

  3. Leon L. Hulett, PE

    Ted and David,

    Let’s assume the article is actually about David’s concerns. The concern from the business community, residents and young people in general to make northern Michigan more attractive for young to mid-career workers.

    That is saying there is a problem and that problem invites solutions to be offered from readers.

    The problem statement according to the article is 5000 jobs, in that one region, were needed between 2000 and 2013 and they were not available. I think the problem is more widespread in Northern Michigan than that, and it has been around for a long, long time.

    I would like to point out those 5000 did find work elsewhere, so they were employable. So what is missing? Besides the kids.

    The business capacity to employ those 5000 or some larger number, for a larger area is missing.

    So why does business not flourish there, or here in paradise, in my case?

    My wife’s answer is that there are laws and other complications placed in the way of business flourishing in this area. We have a most beautiful environment and willing young people, and the most optimistic fore fathers came to this area with the greatest of expectations. So, “Why not?”

    She says, for example in Paradise Township, a farmer can grow something and sell it alongside the road or in a Farmer’s Market. If I manufacture a bowl, manufactured goods, to place my farm goods into and try to sell that bowl of farm goods on the same roadside, or at the same Framer’s Market that is illegal. There is a law against that. Manufacturing is made more complicated.
    Business, the business environemtn that might employ these 5000, is made toxic.

    Young folks used to be able get a start with limited housing…like house trailers. Here in Paradise a house has to be at least 24 feet by 24 feet. House trailers have been banned. Young people do not have the options to get started here easily as they once did.

    At the National level here is another example. Six years ago I began to plot the credit used by and available to small business in America. The federal government then borrowed $1.5 trillion a year from this credit market. The credit market for new loans to small business vanished. Federal Government +1.5 T, Small Business -1.5 T per year. New jobs created by small business then began to vanish. Small businesses began to vanish a million at a time.

    Another example from Traverse City Regional Airport. They were operating fine, but needed a new landing system. The new landing system was complete…except for the final inspection by the FAA. The federal government could not get its act together and shut down a select list of key activities that would be painful for some. The inspectors could not complete a tiny inspection requirement. Air travel was shut down to the Region, Northern Michigan. My brother was bound from Traverse City to Quebec, Canada. I picked him up at the airport where he was stranded. He took a bus that took days instead of hours. He wound up in a coma in Toronto, Canada with a pacemaker. When business in the region is disrupted people get hurt.

    Business has been made toxic.

    Let me outline the evolution of a suggestion towards a solution.

    A Michigan Senator on the Senate Banking Committee sent me his Newsletter one day. I decided to analyze it to see what it meant, and I sent him my analysis. He mentioned a Michigan bank had received $8.3 million to help small business create more jobs from a federal Jobs bill. The bank had ten years to pay back the money plus interest. The bank was lending to small businesses, and returning over 18% on its assets. What value of assets are we talking about? The bank could take the $8.3 million and lend out $83 million. So it could make 18% a year on 83 million, not the $8.3 million. But, it was the kind of bank that lent to small businesses on the value of their inventory, 90 day loans. So they might be loaning this money and being paid back for the loan every 90 days, for 10 years. So when the loan is repaid, they get $83 million back. I said, if they only turn these loans once a year that would be $830 million in ten years, that small businesses would being paying to this bank, plus the 18% above. This is not such a good deal for small businesses to be paying this one bank, that was only holding the $8.3 million for 10 years from the Jobs bill. Business is being made toxic.

    So a solution, from the viewpoint of small business, would be someone (in northern Michigan) to purchase a credit facility for small businesses where they can deposit up to $250,000 to an FDIC insured account and borrow up to $2.5 million for 10 years, at 0%, with a Business Plan that shows a 10X increase in business and jobs for northern Michigan. It is their deposit, and they pay back the principle and get the return of their deposit.

    The type of jobs needed produce about $250,000 per year revenue for a company. For a $2.5 million a year small business that would be about 10 jobs. To get to 5000 new jobs we need 500 such companies in northern Michigan, or existing small companies expanding by that amount.

    Business people like from Carlin Smith’s Chamber of Commerce in Petoskey, or County Commissioners, or Township Supervisors need to take away the complexities. I thought of starting a company designing and selling wind energy systems. The County requires only my (Professional Engineer) signature to do it. The local zoning board has three pages of requirements. For one property the tower could be no more than 100 feet high. (The trees next to it were 80 feet high.) That would not be productive and not economical. No tower, no wind energy system, no small business, no jobs.

  4. Julie

    We have no regrets leaving northern Michigan. Yes we miss the lakes, the snowmobiling ect but we’ve found paradise in North Carolina…..much better job opportunities we have the beach and the mountains…the weather is a bonus too.

  5. Duane

    Is there a question in the article? Does someone want to actually try to figure out what is causing people to leave and others not to move there? Jobs and pay are the only thing that matter to people.

    If there is a question then ask it and listen to the answers. We lived in Wayne County and when the opportunity presented itself we moved to the southern edge of the nothern part of lower MIchigan. We have since moved to the western edge of that line. In one situation a job was a significant factor, but there will comporable offers at that time, so other factors played a bigger part in our decision.

    Do people want to change things?

    How many people and opportunities are there in one of these communities being drawn into addresslocal issues? Who is recruiting them?

    1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

      Duane February 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Okay, let’s restate the problem, after a little research on the web.

      Two of these counties are not ‘poor northern’ or ‘rural’ country folk. Their Per Capita income is greater than the National Average.

      This is upper middle-class America!

      These people were born to succeed. They are born from a generation that dreamed a dream, and did succeed in a big way. They were educated to win. They are succeeding now. Just now here.

      The article, I would say, points out the failure of education to address the problems of work in the environment of those two counties, and all of Michigan. It was not matched to conditions in those two counties, and even their most successful students could not, and did not solve the problems of the environment of their own communities.

      The population of those three counties is about 85,000. When 5,000 of their best and brightest people pick up and leave, people should take notice. The same thing has been happening all over Michigan. It happens in the middle of our cities. It happened in the “Dust Bowl.” In the sixties we had a name for this; “The Brain Drain.” I happened to me.

      When I came back to northern Michigan for a time, in 1975 I had 20 young people come to me that I did not know. They basically thanked me, but most said nothing at all. They just hung out for a few moments and silently left. They uniformly had come from what they called a “dark place.” They saw me in the distance, and somehow knew I had come from a far worse place than they, and I had gone on to succeed, but they went on to make a success in their world. They had been inspired by someone. They were thanking me for setting an example for them.

      The population of the 21 counties in “northern Michigan” is more like 500,000. If the article is talking about just three counties the the 5000 number in the article is more likely 30,000 for the entire area. My estimate of 500 small businesses to solve the problem of three counties, is more like 3,000 small businesses for northern Michigan. These missing 30,000 jobs represent $7.5 Billion a year in revenue for Michigan.

      Is this problem unique to just this area of Michigan? No. It applies to all of Michigan. The same problems, exist everywhere in Michigan. It is import to solve this one.

      One law from a local zoning board bans low income housing for a generation. People pick up and leave.

      I defended my brother in court after he was summoned for Contempt of Court, after being jailed and fined. His small business, after a running legal battle for two years, had been convicted on 15 counts of Environmental violations. I was able to show in court that all 15 counts were false, based on the DNRs own documents, they had failed to bring to court. The environment for small business has been made toxic. This court case should never have gone past the very first Complaint. Someone should have said, “Is this true?” Someone should have asked the DNR on each of the 15 counts, is this true? They would have, or should have found each one false. They are extremely luck someone did not file Perjury charges against them.

      This is a problem that is important for Michigan. It can be solved. We can solve it. It is not an unsolvable fact of history or the Industrialization of Michigan.

      One Reader says companies will not ship material 4 hours to northern Michigan and then ship finished goods back. But this is just what sheet metal people do in Traverse City. I think there are at least six such companies there do exactly that. Another makes tools and dye’s.

      One key company in Cadillac made vital rubber parts for the American Auto Industry. China bought it, and now makes rubber parts there instead of in China… I’m not saying that is the way to go, just that people are investing in northern Michigan.

      We can do this.

      1. Duane

        Leon,

        When you say someone is “These people were born to succeed.” that suggests that you don’t believe they have any choices in the matter and they don’t have to work at it, it is in the genes, in their parents money. I disagree, we each have a choice and it depends on what we are willing to do to succeed. People have been succeeding and failing independent of thier families economic status. That belief in parents economic status as a reaons for student success or failure is a foundational flaw in the justification of educational ‘conventional wisdom’.

        If there are, ” When 5,000 of their best and brightest people pick up and leave, people should take notice. ” How can you be so sure the local ‘education system’ has failed? It seems at lease 5,000 of the 85,000 were able to choose to leave and find work and economic success elsewhere so why blame it on the schools?

        The social and economic situation can only be changed when people are interested/willing to change. Unwillingness to change is the most difficult barrier to overcome.

  6. JB

    I moved away from Cheboygan back in 1990 due to the exact issues stated in this article. There are simply no jobs that can provide a person the means to support a family and have nice things. I have seen the $14 per hour welding job mentioned numerous times, but that is still a career that pays less than $30,000 per year prior to taxes. While it is decent money, it is certainly nothing that is going to allow a person to live a lifestyle where they can enjoy having nice vehicles, a nice house, and maybe a decent boat or snowmobile. I really do miss the lakes, the beautiful views, and to a certain extent, even the winters, but there are plenty of other places that offer their own special landscape, plus the ability to find plenty of employment opportunities making very good money. I now live in North Carolina, and although we don’t have Mullett Lake, or the Great Lakes, we do have beatiful places to visit in the mountains, or if you prefer, the ocean, not to mention numerous lakes to still be able to use for boating and skiing. The problem I see happening is the decline of the poplulation in the area (excluding Petoskey/Harbor/Charlevoix) to the point that these communites become borderline ghost towns. I would be very interested to see the age demographics of the area, but taking a guess, I would bet that the largest percentages are going to be over 65, and under 18. When the under 18 group moves away, and the over 65 group starts to age and pass away, there will only be a shell of what once was a thriving area left. I wish someone had an answer, but I just cannot see how the area will ever be able to reverse this decline. I don’t see where anyone would bring a new manufacturing business with 300-500 employees up there when you consider they would have to ship the raw materials 4 hours north, then finished goods back 4 hours south, when you could just do business in southern part of the state and save those expenses. If you don’t have the manufacturing jobs in quantity making better ($17-20 per hour), money, then you don’t have those dollars trickling back into the economy, and you are unable to break they cycle of decline.

  7. Erwin Haas

    My wife and I vacation-hiking around El Paso, Tx (really.) Hiking southern NM and W Texas reveals layer after layer of civilizations that have gone bust. Indian paintings on rocks and caves, missions that were built, overrun and abandoned, mines, hammer mills, tuberculosis sanitoria, dude ranches, cattle ranches, a few resorts, the military, either US with bombing ranges or renegades like Geronimo……
    We found one fascinating ghost town and spent an afternoon exploring it. There was a paid guide. We were the only ones who showed up.

    Get used to it. Civilizations are evanescent, and no one has ever changed the inevitable….

    1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

      Erwin Haas February 20, 2015 at 9:10 am

      I refuse to accept the lesson you have to offer from your hiking.

      I have lived in New Mexico and seen the same things you have seen. I take away a different lesson.

      Don’t you think there is less depressing option for the 500,000 or so people in these areas of Michigan?

  8. Eric

    If you think there are economic problems in the north now, just wait. In the next 10-20 years, 50% of the jobs that currently exist may be gone. Made obsolete by technology, there will not be many replacement jobs available. There are already discussions as to what to do when this shockwave hits-mandatory 30 hour work weeks, mandatory single job homes, living stipend direct from the government for those that can’t find work, etc.? As a community, as a society, we had better brace ourselves for some tough times ahead. $18 trillion in federal debt, $150+ trillion in unfunded liabilities, trillions in state/county/municipal debt, and no plan to control the spending or pay down the debt. Stagnant wages with ever increasing inflation/COL The second great depression awaits…

  9. Leon L. Hulett, PE

    Duane February 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    ‘When you say “These people were born to succeed.”’ No. That is not what I meant. The article suggests these three counties are in poverty,suggesting they, these 5000 students, did not have the economic advantages most others in Michigan might have. That is not true. Just the opposite is true.

    I said, “When 5,000 of their best and brightest people pick up and leave, people should take notice.” You said, ‘How can you be so sure the local ‘education system’ has failed? It seems at lease 5,000 of the 85,000 were able to choose to leave and find work and economic success elsewhere so why blame it on the schools?’ I tried to make it very clear that these 5000 had every other advantage possible to be successful in that community. If the only factor not accounted for is the local schools ability to match what they are doing to the needs of the local economy, the Michigan economy, then that is the only conclusion possible. Phil Power says, “Why is this lesson so hard to learn?” Education has to be relevant to what kids want to do. They want to work, and many want to work it that neck of the woods. It has to be relevant to what parents want for their kids. They want their kids to succeed, and may want them close by, so they can also help when needed. I feel that education should be more oriented towards making the economy succeed. Only about 20% of students complete college. The article pretty much said that most all of the college graduates left. Why do you say this is what the kids chose, and want most? The article says there were no opportunities there so they then chose to go elsewhere. Where did you get your information from?

    1. Duane

      Sorry about the misunderstanding, your words painted a different picture then you seem to mean.

      I really don’t believe the schools should ty to match the local market specific needs as that will always be lagging what is really needed.

      As one commentor mention the local jobs will be changing in the future and that means the knowledge and skills will be changing. I believe the schools should be about kids learning how to learn so they can learn on their own and keep abreast of the times after their out of K-12. I have to believe in your profession you have continue to learn by studying trade journals and other related sources of information in the changing workd. There is talk about welders, the reality is that welding is a dynamics profession whether it be the methods used, the materials, the nature of what is to be welded on. The welder after K-12 need to be prepared to learn and continue to learn, whether it is for lical jobs or for opportunities elsewhere.

      The job is important, there are other reasons, simply because there are the lakes is not enough. It has to be about people. We had the opportunity, many years ago, to work in Cheboygan but chose a town on the edge of northern Michigan. There were several factors, the jobs were comprable im pay but the local and business cultures were different. Where we went was more welcoming to new people, the activities in town were more inclusive. We knew Detroit and the suburbs and rejected the job offers there.

      The towns can’t be solely concerned about local residence if they want others to come. With today’s technology more and more people have access to things from remote locations so there has to be something special that draws them there. It is the why’s not the whines.

      Winter can be a great time of year if the locals can manage the snow, we can all dress for the cold, and if there are winter activities from snowshoing to curling. But it is about people and drawing them in.

      Schools are important to parents, but the reality is that students can overcome the schools.

      I wonder why people don’t start ask why the business owners who can go anywhere in Michigan are their, I suspect that it is for personal reason not business reasons. If that is the case then why not build on those reasons. It is tiring to hear all the moaning and no one talking about what they have tried and what has succeeded.

      Schools don’t drive the economy, people do. People don;t graduate from college for one main reason, lack of persistence. If they get into school they have the apptitude, then it becomes about them and their desire to achieve. Learning at whatever level starts and ends with the student. Similarly a town sustainablity starts and ends with the people.

      Oh, it has been a number of years since I was in that town I chose over Cheboygan, but the last I heard every activity for the kids the parents were committed to [organizing, administering, coaching, and attending. It is the people because that is why towns were organized.

      1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

        Duane February 20, 2015 at 11:10 pm

        You said, “I really don’t believe the schools should try to match the local market specific needs, as that will always be lagging what is really needed.” I think there is a wide gulf between what schools now teach about Work (or do not teach about work), and the specific needs of a local (township, county, state, national) market at a specific time. There is plenty of room in that wide, wide middle ground. There are plenty of things to know about ‘Work’ and ‘How to work” right now, that could be known by students and applied by students right where they are, anywhere in life and anywhere in Michigan.

        Let’s look at two simple things, from my Tutoring effort; a Contract and a Bank. I had a fifth-grader and a second-grader as students. I was the Tutor, and as you suggest I was teaching them about how to learn first. But I also had this idea about the subject of “work” and we did this over the same weeks they learned about how to study. I made up two little Banks. I put 25 one dollar coins in each. One contained Sacajawea Dollars, for the younger girl, and the other contained Presidential Series Dollars. One Bank was a green pencil holder and the other was a little metal tin. Over time I wrote up about 50 of these little contracts. One day, I found some bananas on sale, for 10 cents a pound. So I asked the fifth-grader and her grandmother if they would make me (us) some Banana Bread. Grandma’s face flashed to big smile instantly. Just one loaf. I made up the Contract, a simple contract. It had the fifth-grader’s name, my name, the Product I wanted: one loaf of banana bread, per my recipe. And the Amount of Payment. Now these little girls did not know how to cook, yet. In my contract I placed all the materials and the recipe to “my account.” After all, I had the bananas. They had to, and did get all of the materials needed for the work from me. The amount of the Contract was “one dollar each.” I told them when they provide the completed loaf of Banana Bread, they each can place the completed Contract into one of their Banks, and take one Dollar each from their banks. They did this. It teaches about ‘Work.’ It teaches about Contracts, it Teaches how Banks work. It teaches about business. It teaches about ‘how to do things’ rather than about ‘knowledge’ only, that has no connection to ‘Work.’

        The second-grader was coming out of her shell, actually showing the nature of a business woman, and one day after she had heard something, and we had been doing something with sewing machines, she said, “We could give sewing machines to needy families and they could make their own clothes!” I told her how much a new sewing machine, like the one we were using would cost her, and how much a used one from Goodwill would cost. (I bought her one from Goodwill.) I told her the reason the sewing machine was given to Goodwill was that it no longer worked. It only needed some oil, and adjustments. So I went and talked to the owner of a sewing company, a man that ‘oils and adjusts’ sewing machines. He could do the work. But I could not get him to teach my students how to ‘do that work.’ Which is what I wanted him to do. He referred me to another company that might do what I wanted…

        Another Contract was about a skirt for the fifth-grader, that grandma had picked out. (that I had arranged) She had picked out ‘a pattern.’ Someone needed the skills (to learn the skills) to make the pattern. I pre-arranged for the owner of a local sewing boutique, to talk to the girls. I cautioned her to be real, if she felt the job was too much for the girls tell them exactly what was true. We had to go to the big city for that one, and lunch was on me.

        There are a lot of things schools and kids could know about ‘Work’ and how it is done.

        “I have to believe in your profession you have continued to learn by studying trade journals and other related sources of information in the changing world.” As a Professional Engineer there is also a requirement for 30 hours of continuing education (30 CEU’s) each time I re-apply (every two years) for my license from the State of Michigan.

        “There were several factors, the jobs were comparable in pay but the local and business cultures were different. Where we went was more welcoming to new people, the activities in town were more inclusive. We knew Detroit and the suburbs and rejected the job offers there.” So, the cultures were different, and you could choose the one your family most wanted.

        “Schools are important to parents, but the reality is that students can overcome the schools.” The parents can help. I like to think Tutoring can help.

        “I wonder why people don’t ask why the business owners who can go anywhere in Michigan are there, I suspect that it is for personal reasons not business reasons. If that is the case, then why not build on those reasons.” My wife suggested to me sometime ago, why didn’t I take advantage of all the people that do seriously want to come to northern Michigan. She said, you could make an Engineering Consulting company, that attracts Engineers from everywhere they don’t want to be…. My supervisor at Rolls-Royce asked me about the same thing. Why don’t you start an Engineering company that contracts with Rolls-Royce for major work. From his viewpoint, nearly everyone there was contract labor, or a Contractor. That would work.

        “…no one is talking about what they have tried and what has succeeded.” Well, maybe we could have that discussion.

        “Schools don’t drive the economy, people do. People don’t graduate from college for one main reason, lack of persistence. If they get into school they have the aptitude. Then it becomes about them and their desire to achieve. Learning at whatever level starts and ends with the student. Similarly a town’s sustainablity starts and ends with the people.” I’m not trying to say schools ‘drive’ their local economies. I believe schools can inspire kids to work, or leave them uninformed about work and disenchanted. I understand about half the college graduates these days to not move on to work in their areas of interest…

        “If they get into school they have the apptitude, then it becomes about them and their desire to achieve.” I disagree, this is not the primary factor in those who fail to compete the degree they want. As and example; I did some volunteer work at a boy’s ranch. The owner of the boys ranch was a Marine, with four tours of duty in Viet Nam. He was one day younger than me. He had dropped out of college (and was reclassified by Selective Service to 1-A, and into the Marines) after taking one course three times. It was required for his degree. He flunked “Slide Rules.” I had trained my son in the use of such things, and he volunteered to teach this man how to use the slide rule he had and used. There is only one reason a person becomes unable to learn. (That resolves such things.) That is explained in my Stardard #7. If a person has become unable to learn ‘slide rules’, or anything, how does he complete the study of that subject? He doesn’t no matter how hard he persists, until he actually does learn how to do it.

        “Similarly a town’s sustainablity starts and ends with the people.” I understand what you are saying, but what I’m saying is that this depends on how well the people can learn, how well they know how to study. Can they observe the problems in their environment, learn how to solve them and then solve them? If they can not, the town is not sustainable, is it?

        “Oh, it has been a number of years since I was in that town I chose over Cheboygan, but the last I heard, every activity for the kids, the parents were committed to. [organizing, administering, coaching, and attending.} It is the people because that is why towns were organized.” I won’t disagree with your enthusiasm, but we do disagree slightly.

        A true group has and is working towards a common purpose. A true group has more power than the individuals one for one. In my Tutoring, I use this idea of a true group exactly and the power of a coach and student together is greater than two students alone. A coach and a student working together on a common goal with a Tutor…is priceless!

        1. Duane

          Leon,

          We have a different view of work, your emphasis seems more about compensation for effort and I see it more about accomplishment from effort. In either case I believe those are lessons for school but the primary purpose of school. I see the schools as an opportunity to offer knowledge and skills, and how to use those skills to learn.

          A person can learn about your perspective and my perspective with minimal learning of skill in the classroom. There is work out where employers have low expectation of skills such as reading, writing, and arithmatic. It seems more important that kids come out of K-12 having the knowledge and skills that will help them add to their knowledge and skills to make them more valuable to an employer. Our children from an early age were taught about work to show them that they could achieve and to have confidence in their ability to adjust and address new problems with their knowledge and skills and effort, it wasn’t until their teens they started getting compensated for what they achieve with their work (not simply hours worked).

          With regard to the discussion on what has been tried and succeeded, first we need the issue properly framed. What is the desired outcome, what is to be changed, who does it apply to. The greatest hurdle to the discussion is who cares, if locals don’t want to participate then it becomes a personal exercise.

          I suspect you were a committed student and weren’t that engaged with those who were struggling. You see I have met those who gave up on school because they didn’t want to make the sacrifice, there were those who partied too much, there were those who reality only care about admission to a cetain callege because it was the in thing in high school, etc. I also have met those who like your Marine friend returned from the service and work to compete their degree, those who struggled in a course would seek out others to help them learn. I can’t recall ever meeting someone admitted to a college that didn’t have the intellectual capacity to complete the program at that school. The vast majority of those who didn’t were most likely to have the necessary persistence. Persistence is about a desire great enough to do what it takes to achieve. That reminds me of that very old song, High Hopes.

          I have had the opportunity to work with or be around many engineers from various fields and various schools. What I have found the majority of kids in high school have the intellectual capacity to be engineers, and a significant number of those if the timing and the degree were right could earn their P.E. The difference is persistence, that desire to achieve the degree and the willingness to sacrifice what it would take. And they can come from any part of Michigan, any family economic situation, any social group, but only if they are persistent.

          A coach, a tutor, a teacher, a mentor, a peer, etc. are only as valuable as they can related to the needs of the student. Student can and do succeed without them, but an effective one of those significantly heightens the likelihood of success. You see, simply labeling someone wit one of those titles doesn’t not assure quality or success.

          1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

            Duane February 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm

            You said, “We have a different view of work, your emphasis seems more about compensation for effort and I see it more about accomplishment from effort.” I think my examples showed both of those roles. I place its importance above state government and public education. It is the fabric of our economy itself.

            “In either case I believe those are lessons for school but the primary purpose of school.” Did you leave out some words?

            “I see the schools as an opportunity to offer knowledge and skills, and how to use those skills to learn.” Have you surveyed what skills schools actually make available to students to learn for themselves?

            “A person can learn about your perspective and my perspective with minimal learning of skill in the classroom. There is work out where employers have low expectation of skills such as reading, writing, and arithmatic. It seems more important that kids come out of K-12 having the knowledge and skills that will help them add to their knowledge and skills to make them more valuable to an employer.” I support your importance here. I have written about 15 little courses to do just that. But it would only take a week or 15 days, to relay to a student most all I know of how to learn. What I would like to see is students that have completed these 15 little courses have them available to use in K-12, and the rest of their lives.

            ” Our children from an early age were taught about work to show them that they could achieve and to have confidence in their ability to adjust and address new problems with their knowledge and skills and effort, it wasn’t until their teens they started getting compensated for what they achieve with their work (not simply hours worked).” The same was true for our family, but with ours the compensation part was probably earlier. They had a contract for and provided a not-for-flight part for Aerospatiale’s ATR-42 commuter aircraft when they were 10 and 12. The amount of time spent with my kids at my work was also likely to be, far more than you did.

            “With regard to the discussion on what has been tried and succeeded, first we need the issue properly framed.” How would you frame it?

            “What is the desired outcome” Please state your view of this.

            “what is to be changed” Please state what you see that needs to be changed.

            “who does it apply to.” Please fill in the detail.

            “The greatest hurdle to the discussion is who cares, if locals don’t want to participate then it becomes a personal exercise.” I’ve done that. But maybe you have a plan that increases local participation to a more desirable level.

            “I suspect you were a committed student and weren’t that engaged with those who were struggling.” Nearly all the boys, my friends, in my high school class rebelled and dropped out in 10th grade. I was a committed student, yes. But I also overhauled my first engine with one of those that struggled and dropped out. I worked in the evening when the girls in my class dated. It was the 60’s and one went straight to Viet Nam and got killed. I had shown this young man how to find his way in the woods without a compass. It did not keep him alive.

            “You see I have met those who gave up on school because they didn’t want to make the sacrifice, there were those who partied too much, there were those who really only cared about admission to a certain college because it was the in thing in high school, etc. I also have met those who like your Marine friend returned from the service and work to compete their degree, those who struggled in a course would seek out others to help them learn. I can’t recall ever meeting someone admitted to a college that didn’t have the intellectual capacity to complete the program at that school. The vast majority of those who didn’t were most likely to [not?] have the necessary persistence. Persistence is about a desire great enough to do what it takes to achieve. That reminds me of that very old song, High Hopes.” I know the song. I know about persistence. I went through 7 ‘drop-out’ courses where 50% of that class dropped out of their curriculum, out of college. My standards don’t address ‘persistence’ exactly. They handle why people can’t learn, and then get depressed or apathetic because they no longer understand. They come to feel they are “Not good at Math.” They handle why people do not persist. They enable a person to persist to become willing to study. They become willing to believe there is a subject there they can master.

            “I have had the opportunity to work with or be around many engineers from various fields and various schools. What I have found the majority of kids in high school have the intellectual capacity to be engineers, and a significant number of those if the timing and the degree were right could earn their P.E. The difference is persistence, that desire to achieve the degree and the willingness to sacrifice what it would take. And they can come from any part of Michigan, any family economic situation, any social group, but only if they are persistent.” That is why I came back, came back to address K-12. What if students had the skills to address the reasons one does not persist, becomes unwilling, fails to understand, and then went forward to; K-12, college, the university and on to professional levels and to a long career in the career of their dreams, or to create a business of their own choosing?

            “A coach, a tutor, a teacher, a mentor, a peer, etc. are only as valuable as they can relate to the needs of the student. Students can and do succeed without them, but an effective one of those significantly heightens the likelihood of success. You see, simply labeling someone with one of those titles doesn’t not assure quality or success.” I’m glad to see you appreciate the difference.

            I look forward to your comments.

          2. Duane

            Leon,

            Yes I did leave a word our, ‘not’. Should have read, “In either case I believe those are lessons for school but the (not) primary purpose of school.”

            “Have you surveyed what skills schools actually make available to students to learn for themselves?” I have not been in a classroom recently (not being a parent with kids in the local schools they have been discouraging to residences participating in their educatoinal process). I know in are community they are now having language immersion schools under the pretense of global competitiveness and yet they do not consider computer languages as a language for such a situation. I do know that Bridge rates our school rather low.

            ” How would you frame it?” I would not frame it, I would draw that out of the people in the conversation. They need to own what is being discussed otherwise it is simply a conversation with no meaningful outcome. When we talk about ‘education’ I would ask about what they see the purpose of the K-12 education is and what are the results they believe it should deliver. With those questions we could create a reference point that the discussion would be linked to and guided by.

            Personally, I see having the tools to learn on your own, the tools for everyday life, the understanding of how to learn, and the confidence that one can learn. With that I believe the students are armed with what they need to make their own lives. As an example, I would like the to understand how we/they learn, how to study, how to listen, how to question, how to think.

            My concern is that the current ‘educational’ focus is on the process, the efficiency, and not on the individual’s learning. I have yet to hear anyone wonder about student success in situations people discount as a barrier to education and student failure in situations where the expectation is success.

            Who does it apply to: It seems the current discussion is focus on the the teachers, I would like it to be about the students. If the efforts continue to apply to the teacher I expect little will change, that has been the emphasis for decades.

            I have no leverage so all I can do is to keep spreading the seeds of ideas and see if they germinate with someone. I do believe that turning a Bridge article into a discussion, purpose, expected outcomes, root causes, etc. could be a good spring board for local people to start to see how they can have those discussions locally. There is no interest, so it is back to persistence.

            It is sad about your friend, who died in Viet Nam. As I recall it was only 1 in 11 that went there actually were in combat and many of those came home. I have mentioned I have known and work with some who returned, a few even had some harrowing experiences. It seemed to be a tough time for many, especially when they returned home. That is another conversation.

            Persistence seems to be an inter choice that others can only off ideas for people to consider. That is something that for a seperate discussion on.

  10. Brian Polet

    Leon-
    Some very astute observations on your behalf. To me the main problem for Michiganders over the last 20 years has been as you pointed out earlier: toxic regulations. Being in the meat business for almost 40 years, the amount of regulations in this industry have killed start-up food companies from processing plants to restaurants. I have firsthand knowledge of how much cost the current USDA, MDAg, county, township, or local regulations can add to starting or even buying existing businesses. No young person can possibly find enough resources to take chances in the MI economy. Its too onerous. There needs to be a concerted effort by the people of this state to push back against Lansing and Washington regulations.

    1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

      Brian Polet February 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Thanks for your supportive comments!

      My son asked me what I thought was the largest cost in buying a bottle of beer? It is actually larger than all the other costs combined. It is the taxes on the beer!

      It made me wonder about the taxes people pay, the Income Tax and such, to have enough money to buy a commodity like a bottle of beer? Would you care to estimate? One man was selling Flags not far from here. He learned that it cost his business more to collect just the sales taxes than the entire amount he made for his work there over a summer.

      Then what is the ratio, the percent, people have to earn to buy, compared to the cost of a commodity, the beer, only?

      I think it would be illuminating.

      I have written many things here on Bridge over the last year that might be of interest to you. You might want to Search on them.

      Basically, I’m trying to be a voice for kids and parents. I have written a set of standards, basic ideas about smarter ways to learn things. That kids could take such skills to school to learn more easily, and more quickly and to a much higher level of quality. Schools could use these to solve some of the problems they have with declining participation in STEM subjects and things like. Employees could take them to work and Employers could use them to. There are 10 of these standards each with a little course to learn it, but when I did five years of substitute teaching I dreamed up a few more that are greatly needed by the students I saw; Something on Attention, something on Emotion, something on Work and something on Observation.

      I look forward to hearing more from you.

  11. John Q. Public

    These people don’t need jobs to attract them. Just give them transportation options and walkable communities with vibrant downtowns where they can live, work and play, and they’ll flock to the area from all over the country, then decide where to work, choosing from whatever the area offers.

    At least that’s what they all tell the pollsters, according to the articles published regularly in Bridge.

  12. Leon L. Hulett, PE

    Duane February 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

    “Have you surveyed what skills schools actually make available to students to learn for themselves?”

    You might attend a school board meeting. Write out a few questions, the things you would like to know. I would send them to the school board a week before you attend. Make 10 copies. Then at the meeting ask if they would like you to read the questions, or refer you to someone that can talk about such things.

    What is the purpose of the school? Does it have a goal? Does it have a Vision or Mission Statement? Who is the Superintendent? Do they encourage public comment and discussion?

    How does the school relay to students ideas on how to study better? Does it have a Pamphlet, like the one from the National Association of School Principals? Does it have a Daily Planner with helpful suggestions on study ideas like some schools? Who are the Principals?

    Does it provide for Tutors to help students? How many? Do they have any special training? Who is in charge of that activity for the school? Do they tutor in basic study skills? Do they tutor students who have failed to succeed at something. What is the desired outcome of that tutoring? What has been tried and what has succeeded?

    Are there Home Schools in the area? Who could you contact to get in touch with them?

    Does the school have a School to Work program, or are there business people that provide input to the school on what they want?

    With regard to the discussion on what has been tried and succeeded, first we need the issue properly framed. What is the desired outcome, what is to be changed, who does it apply to. The greatest hurdle to the discussion is who cares, if locals don’t want to participate then it becomes a personal exercise.

    Let me know how you do.

    1. Duane

      Leon,

      I did attend the School Board Meeting a couple of times ago with only a couple of questions, and contacted the high school principle with an offer of services, several years ago. Neither were interested.

      I will review you questions and see if there will be an opportunity to attend again. I believe I have mentioned before, the local focus and acceptance is of parents with children in the local schools.

      1. Leon L. Hulett, PE

        Duane February 23, 2015 at 9:01 pm

        “I did attend the School Board Meeting a couple of times ago with only a couple of questions, and contacted the high school principle with an offer of services, several years ago. Neither were interested.”

        That’s great you did those things. I’m sorry they did not give you a warmer reception.

        You should be able to become a member of the Curriculum Counsel by sending a letter to the Principal in charge of that. They probably do a rotation every year on that.

        You could do various volunteer things as well. Tutoring, Mentoring The National Honor Society. One school had an Academic Boosters Club so I went to see them. Run for the School Board itself. Another school was looking at changing their standards, so I went and talked to them. You be able to tune into a lot of these things by reading the school Newspaper. Locally they send those out once a month. Another thing is get in touch with Parents groups. One group, The Futures Group,in Bear Lake, invited me to speak there when they had a problem. I have written quite a few things for local or regional papers. Quite often someone will call me and just talk or one even invited me to co-teach at his school for three days. You do substitute teaching. All of these things get you in touch with people at the school. When I ran for School Board, you have to get 25 signatures of people on a petition to put your name on the ballet. That gets you into touch with a lot of people. One time they had a debate among the various candidates and we all got to do present what we wanted. All of these things get you into enough people to discuss you ideas and ask them some questions on a more personal level. I think some teachers would be glad to have you come in and talk to their classes about what you do in the world and interesting stories you might have. I don’t think they have the School to Work program anymore but that was good for me to get into touch with things. The substitute teaching probably did the most. The Home School movement gives you lots of ideas on what people do not like about Public Schools. Locally they have a Boy’s and Girl’s Club, so went there with something I wanted to do. I wanted to work with kids and their parents at the same time. At that time they could not do it, they said the parents more or less squeal there tires getting away from there and would not put in any time like that. There are also public meeting on new things, like a new school…

        Leon

  13. Leon L. Hulett, PE

    Duane February 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

    “Personally, I see having the tools to learn on your own, the tools for everyday life, the understanding of how to learn, and the confidence that one can learn. With that I believe the students are armed with what they need to make their own lives. As an example, I would like to understand how we/they learn, how to study, how to listen, how to question, how to think.”

    In 1995 I wrote up a set of 10 standards, or basic principles, that I thought summarized what students needed to make their way.

    After five years of substitute teaching and extensive reading and discussions, and some Tutoring work, I have added a few more.

    In 1994 the NAEP said “50% of students in America drop out of Math each year, only 5% are at grade level when they graduate our high-schools.” I think that 50% rate of failure is true of Reading, Writing and Science as well. I think the part about only 5% are at grade level when they graduate points out the major misrepresentations that Education and Testing are perpetrating. A local school says 62% attend college. But they do not say 50% of those require remediation, and 50% of those will drop out before their first college course. So what grade level have high-school graduates achieved? I think about 8th grade level. What achieved grade level are colleges will to accept? I think about 10th grade level. (The level for Dual Enrollment) So when Education says, they know how to fix education and just need more resources…No, I don’t think so.

    So what things would I add “so students can make their way” in such a world, in addition to my 10 standards and a little course to learn each?

    Observe: The ability to look at something and see it for what it is, comfortably and easily. With this ability, one can see (with any perception) the Things, Ideas and Words in their environment that they will have to be familiar with to make their way. A consultant to Thomas Jefferson made these same recommendations to him in April of 1800. He said it, in the context of ‘Work’, the basic purpose of Education. In the context of what people need to make their way in the world of ‘Work.’

    Attention: One successful Tutor of remedial students said he did nothing else. He simply clarified very carefully with the student, no manner how bad their attention skills were, what the concept of ‘Attention’ was in a way that they could understand clearly. That was all. I did this exact thing with the first mom I tutored. I did not tutor her on this, I simply said one day when she was leaving, what attention was in a way she could understand, and then for her to per-arrange events for her son, to take him to her work and have him just observe people with excellent attention skills and how they used them in their work. Two months later she said, he was no longer ADD and had been accepted to the Gifted and Talented class. Years later I heard he was doing well in college.

    False Data: This is not like a true or false question. It is not like, ‘Is the world flat?’ We all know the world is not flat. But what do you do if someone does believe something is true, when it is not? What if it is you, how would you know? Not being able to think with an idea, or some data, is a symptom of this kind of ‘false data.’ What if you learned something, and then found out it was false, and then could not think with that something at all? Just the whole thing now fails to make sense? Well, there are ways to handle that. What if you have tried everything else, and you still don’t get how something works, or you still fumble when you try to do something? Well, there is at least one more thing you can try.

    Emotion: I found an eighth-grade girl one day that seemed to be a magnet for bullying. Even while I was talking with her, a boy came up and taunted her a little and she started to fall to pieces and wept. What do you do? What do you, as a student what do you do when someone has a problem with ’emotions?’

    Responsibility: How does a student learn to be responsible for those around him or her? To be responsible for another? A hundred years ago an older student might be assigned to help a younger student. They learned to be responsible and make sure another learned the material well enough.

    I see your list of the tools students should have. How would you envision the use of such tools might be taught to someone?

  14. brenda redding

    Govenor Snyder: Every COUNTY in NW, NE, and the UP should have a ‘Networks’, program that includes career and technical education combined with high school that would fit into the needs of the community, (hospitals and school positions, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, engine repair, road maintenance, etc). These classes should be in buildings accessible to the student, such as the schools or buildings near by. These jobs could be, (but not necessarily), a career path.
    I graduated in the early 1950’s when it was a necessity for half of each graduating class to leave, and most of us did not return on a permanent basis. That situation still exists, it seems, and there is room for ideas, imagination and the will to make Upper Michigan more livable for many who remain there, and an incentive for many to return there, productive, and interested in improved opportunities for living there.

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