It is often said that, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Also, the bulk always stops at the leaders’ table. It is not different for Governor Grandholm of Michigan when it involves large scale unemployment in Detroit.
Michigan has always been at the ace or sometimes switches the position of states with worst unemployment in the country with a handful of other states. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press Business writer, recently published a headline on Michigan unemployment situation titled, “Michigan’s jobless rate is 2nd Worst.” (http://www.freep.com/article, June 19, 2010). Unemployment rate in the state is at 13.6%, barely trailing Nevada at 14.6%. It is no doubt that the city of Detroit has the highest chunk of unemployment or underemployment.
While everyone might not have white collar jobs, there are a few ways the government could create more self sustaining jobs for the city of Detroit. What readily comes to mind is the replication of a few vocational skills practiced in America and other countries such as China, Pakistan and India.
Vocations such as tailoring, plumbing, auto mechanic, auto electrician and wiring of buildings, carpentry and so on, do not necessarily need bachelors or masters degrees or even associates. They could be learned through one-on-one mentoring by those who already know the skills.
Most of our clothing comes from Chinese cottage or vocational industries. Government could organize and provide incentives for Chinese and Pakistani tailors to set up tailoring industries in Detroit. Rather than roam the streets and engage in vices, young men and women could be sponsored to learn tailoring skills from these professionals for about one or two years depending on the rate of comprehension. The same applies to other vocations mentioned above.
Those who teach the skills, such as tailoring, will still derive some income through patronage by those needing their services, while the apprentices learn the skills simultaneously. Rather than people condemning their cloths due to little tear, Detroiters could now have people available to knit them. The overall result of the venture is a mass turnout of skilled persons who are able to establish their own outfits at the end of their short training. At least they will be able to take care of themselves and their families. Crime rate will also reduce with many people involved in meaningful ventures.
The bottom lines is to have the government set up a large vocational building, partition the inside according to the vocations available and provide equipment such as sewing machines, plumbing tools, carpentry tools and so on. There are many skilled professionals who are willing to accept government stipends in order to train the unemployed persons who need hands on skills to survive. Countries such as Nigeria practices one-on-one mentoring in all the trades mentioned above and many others. This huge but wise capital investment will certainly pay off in the long run.