Many of us can recall a time when a young man could drop out of high school his junior year then get a job in the shop, any one of dozens of GM, Ford or Chrysler plants around the state. Soon that young man would be driving up to his old high school showing off his new Camaro. That era began collapsing in 1980. Michigan has been struggling ever since.
Agriculture aside, Michigan has been attempting what amounts to CPR on its manufacturing-based economy for 33 years. All the while sons and daughters leave for jobs elsewhere; wages remain stagnant or have fallen, and unemployment remains high. For many in Michigan, pondering the future is still a source of anxiety.
At Charlotte Area Network for Development and Opportunity, CanDo!, we think a lot about the future—our future as a town, our social, cultural, and economic condition as well as the health of the region. We stoke creativity, relish new ideas, like Alive, and appreciate foundational investments in our future, like the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. We are in the business of Charlotte’s and Michigan’s future.
Our guest for March is also in the business of Michigan’s future.
He is Lou Glazer, president and co-founder of Michigan Future Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization intent on being “a catalyst for prosperity.” Mr. Glazer is going to tell us, among other things, that we should stop trying to resuscitate the 1975 manufacturing economy. Instead, he argues, we should shift to a knowledge-based economy, and bring our educational processes into sync with our social and economic needs.
At this moment when there is still so much anxiety about the future of this great state, perhaps the best thing to do is listen to someone with a good idea and an action plan to implement it. Join us on March 27 at 7am in the Charlotte Public Library for Mr. Glazer’s expert analysis, great discussion and, because it is so early, hot coffee from Faye’s.