Changing Gears http://michiganradio.org en Stateside: Small shining towns http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-small-shining-towns <p>The things one searches for in a big city may very well exist in one’s hometown.</p><p>In a recent article entitled, “<a href="http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/07/praise-smaller-cities/2597/">In Praise of Smaller Cities</a>,” Micki Maynard discussed the overlooked bounties of small American towns.</p><p>For Maynard, the benefits of living in a small town were not immediately apparent. In fact, it took living in numerous big cities to really see the practicality of having a lawn, a garden and a garage.</p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 18:44:56 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9816 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside: Small shining towns The Midwest economy is getting better. Will the transformation continue? http://michiganradio.org/post/midwest-economy-getting-better-will-transformation-continue <p>The data is in, and the Midwest economy <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/01/30/the-midwest-and-manufacturing-from-changing-gears/">seems to be on the path of recovery</a>. Our long, regional nightmare still isn&rsquo;t over for many workers, but there are plenty of signs for optimism. Businesses are hiring, productivity has increased.<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/03/22/the-controversial-economic-report-that-challenges-everything-we-think-we-know-about-u-s-manufacturing/">*</a></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 14:17:49 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 7193 at http://michiganradio.org The Midwest economy is getting better. Will the transformation continue? Changing Expectations: A second income is essential, but what about a third? http://michiganradio.org/post/changing-expectations-second-income-essential-what-about-third <p><em><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 16px; ">Changing Gears is partnering with Michigan Radio to collect <a href="http://chgears.tumblr.com">stories about how people are planning ahead</a> in light of the recession.&nbsp;</span></em></p><p>Josh Eikenberry writes:</p><p>Because I got through college, I&rsquo;ll probably be slightly better off economically than my parents, who only graduated high school.</p><p>On the other hand, the generation after me is doomed; college tuition and a rapidly changing economy requiring less workers means no chance to improve or make money, and the (probable) lack of a social safety net just adds to the gloomy picture facing my generation&rsquo;s kids.</p><p>A second income is essential to any household. We have three. I work, my wife works, and on the weekends I work as a photographer. I&rsquo;m iffy about kids, primarily because I don&rsquo;t think I could realistically afford them. Maybe someday I&rsquo;ll have enough saved to buy a house, but I&rsquo;m not holding my breath.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; ">All I ever wanted was an office job. I have that now, so now I just want to pay of my debt and enjoy my life with my wife.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; line-height: 16px;">This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. If you want to learn how to be a part of our network, click&nbsp;<a href="http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/changing-gears/f8f8b186694f/help-us-cover-this-story" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 82, 155); " target="_blank">here</a>.</em> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:39:56 +0000 7155 at http://michiganradio.org Changing Expectations: A second income is essential, but what about a third? On Earth Day, turning the Motor City into "Cycle City" http://michiganradio.org/post/earth-day-turning-motor-city-cycle-city <p>Let&rsquo;s face it: Detroit&rsquo;s reputation as the Motor City is unshakeable. But it&rsquo;s gaining ground as a city for cyclists.</p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 15:39:54 +0000 Micki Maynard 7126 at http://michiganradio.org On Earth Day, turning the Motor City into "Cycle City" Changing Expectations: Considering every variable is difficult, if not impossible http://michiganradio.org/post/changing-expectations-considering-every-variable-difficult-if-not-impossible <p>Michigan Radio is partnering with Changing Gears to share stories about how people are planning ahead and how their expectations have changed in light of the recession. You can read those stories <a href="http://chgears.tumblr.com" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Angela Dugan writes:</p><blockquote><p>I am doing better than my parents, mostly because I am not a stay at home mother like my mother was. I also make more money than my husband.</p><p>We are working on starting a family, and I am struggling with the decision to stay at home or continue to work. It is both a question of what&rsquo;s feasible economically, and what is best for our children.</p><p>My biggest concern is being able to afford a lifestyle that we are happy with if I choose to stop working once we have children. I make more money than my husband, so it would be a big change unless he ends up being the one that stays home. We are currently renting a home we could not sell, but at a huge loss, and our new home needs a lot of repair work.</p><p>To some extent, I feel that even though I&rsquo;m doing the best I can to invest wisely and save as much as I can, a lot of variables are simply out of my immediate control.</p></blockquote><p><em>You can help us cover this topic by sharing your story. How are you planning for what comes next? Tell us by <a href="https://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/changing-gears/9b8aacef70c4/how-are-you-finding-your-way-in-the-economy" target="_blank">following this link</a>.</em></p><p><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;">This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. If you want to learn how to be a part of our network, click&nbsp;<a href="http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/changing-gears/f8f8b186694f/help-us-cover-this-story" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; " target="_blank">here</a>.</em> Thu, 19 Apr 2012 15:59:59 +0000 7105 at http://michiganradio.org Changing Expectations: Considering every variable is difficult, if not impossible “Where Did Everybody Go?" A Changing Gears audio documentary http://michiganradio.org/post/where-did-everybody-go-changing-gears-audio-documentary <p>Over the past few months the Changing Gears team has been bringing you stories of <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/midwest-migration">Midwest Migration</a>---about those who have left the region for other parts of the country and beyond.</p><p>Tune into Michigan Radio this Sunday at 9p.m. to hear &ldquo;Where Did Everybody Go?, &quot; an hour-long Changing Gears documentary that tells the stories of people who left the Midwest, and some who came home.</p><p>More info <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/04/18/coming-next-week-a-changing-gears-special-where-did-everybody-go/">at Changing Gears</a>. Wed, 18 Apr 2012 20:38:48 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7094 at http://michiganradio.org Is Detroit's comeback over? Carmakers lose market share gains http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-comeback-over-carmakers-lose-market-share-gains <p>Last year, everyone in the auto industry was chuffed about Detroit&rsquo;s comeback.</p><p>The carmakers were enjoying a healthy rebound from the bankruptcies at General Motors and Chrysler. And for a while, at least, Chrysler outsold Toyota to make the Detroit Three the Big Three again.</p><p>But this year, Detroit&rsquo;s market share has been slipping, and that has ramifications all across the Midwest.</p><p>In fact, the auto companies have fallen back to the market share level they held in 2009, as GM and Chrysler were struggling.</p><p>In a piece for <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2012/04/17/detroit-facing-stiff-competition-goes-into-reverse/">Forbes.com</a>, I look at what happened to the Detroit companies during the first quarter.</p><p>Basically, there are three issues:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1) GM and Ford are losing share</strong>. In March, GM&rsquo;s market share fell to a 90-year low. And while Ford&rsquo;s car sales are up in 2012, they aren&rsquo;t up as much as the competition. That&rsquo;s one way a company can lose share, by not keeping up.</p><p><strong>2) Toyota got stronger. </strong>Japan&rsquo;s biggest carmaker was battered by millions of recalls, the tsunami and earthquake and floods in Thailand. But its market share is climbing back, thanks to new members of the Prius family, and the newest version of the Camry.</p><p><strong>3) Korean and European companies are gaining.</strong> Hyundai and Kia are causing headaches for all kinds of automakers with their sales gains. Volkswagen is picking up market share, too, and it&rsquo;s planning to build more cars at its new plant in Tennessee.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s how Detroit&rsquo;s market share looks, according to Autodata, Inc.</p><p>2012: 44.3 percent (through March)</p><p>2011: 47 percent</p><p>2010: 45.1 percent</p><p>2009: 44 percent Tue, 17 Apr 2012 17:48:51 +0000 Micki Maynard 7074 at http://michiganradio.org Is Detroit's comeback over? Carmakers lose market share gains Changing expectations: The new ways Midwesterners are planning ahead http://michiganradio.org/post/changing-expectations-new-ways-midwesterners-are-planning-ahead <p><span style="color: rgb(83, 83, 83); font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'Lucida Sans', Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 16px; background-color: rgb(240, 240, 240); ">Changing Gears is partnering with Michigan Radio to collect stories about how people are planning ahead in light of the recession. You can read more stories about how Midwesterners&#39; expectations are changing at the Changing Gears tumblr blog, <a href="http://chgears.tumblr.com" target="_blank">http://chgears.tumblr.com</a>.</span></p><p>Here&#39;s what some Midwesterners are saying:</p><p>&quot;<span style="color: rgb(83, 83, 83); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, Times, serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px; ">I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but we couldn&rsquo;t have just one source of income and raise a family. Our fix? I opened a day care in our home. I treat it as my small business &ndash; which it is - and raise our child along with 3 others in her age range.&quot; -Ella Bensen</span></p><p> Tue, 17 Apr 2012 17:10:56 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7073 at http://michiganradio.org Changing expectations: The new ways Midwesterners are planning ahead Midwest Migration: Detroit native and others drawn to Portland http://michiganradio.org/post/midwest-migration-detroit-native-and-others-drawn-portland <p>If you wanted to start life over in a new place, would you choose somewhere with a chronically high unemployment rate and struggling schools, or one that&rsquo;s known as a haven for slackers? The latter is one way to describe Portland, Oregon.</p><p>It seems like everyone is talking about Portland these days. Part of that has to do with the success of Portlandia, a sketch comedy show that pokes fun at Portland&rsquo;s young hipster crowd. As one character explains, &ldquo;Portland is a city where young people go to retire.&rdquo;</p> Tue, 17 Apr 2012 15:36:30 +0000 Chris Lehman 7070 at http://michiganradio.org Midwest Migration: Detroit native and others drawn to Portland Are tax incentives working? Many states don't even check http://michiganradio.org/post/are-tax-incentives-working-many-states-dont-even-check <p>Tax incentives have become the weapon of choice among states battling for new business investments. Niala Boodhoo <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/12/14/would-you-like-to-play-an-incentives-game/">reported in December that offering incentives has become a sort of strategy game for Midwest states</a> hoping to one-up each other as everyone fights to grow jobs. But, as Niala reported, these are games with millions of dollars in tax breaks and thousands of jobs on the line.</p> Thu, 12 Apr 2012 17:59:43 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 7023 at http://michiganradio.org Are tax incentives working? Many states don't even check It's tax season, let's talk about money and your future http://michiganradio.org/post/its-tax-season-lets-talk-about-money-and-your-future <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">Michigan Radio and Changing Gears are collecting stories about how people are planning ahead in a tough economy, and we&rsquo;d like your help. What&rsquo;s on your mind as you plan for what comes next?</span></p> Wed, 11 Apr 2012 18:48:32 +0000 7003 at http://michiganradio.org Don't call it a comeback: Ethanol is bigger than ever http://michiganradio.org/post/dont-call-it-comeback-ethanol-bigger-ever <p>The ethanol refinery for <a href="http://www.cgbioenergy.com/">Carbon Green Bioenergy</a> rises up out of the cornfields outside Lake Odessa Michigan.</p><p>The refinery was built in 2006. Mitch Miller, the CEO of the company, says a lot of refineries were popping up then.</p><p>&ldquo;Five years ago, ethanol was a craze,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It was the next best thing.&rdquo;</p><p>Now, not so much. Refineries aren&rsquo;t being built. Politicians aren&rsquo;t stopping by with platoons of reporters.</p><p>Seriously, when is the last time you heard anyone talk about ethanol? Wed, 11 Apr 2012 13:41:05 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 6997 at http://michiganradio.org Don't call it a comeback: Ethanol is bigger than ever Measuring the costs and benefits of retraining http://michiganradio.org/post/measuring-costs-and-benefits-retraining <p>Measuring the success of retraining programs used to be straightforward. You just looked at how many people got better paying jobs. Now the emphasis is shifting from how job seekers benefit to how taxpayers benefit too. That&rsquo;s because some federal funds for workforce development are shrinking, and local agencies have to do more to make their case.</p><p>In the Midwest, we hear a lot about retraining. A lot of the money for retraining and other job services comes from the federal government, through the states, to local programs like this one in Jackson, Michigan. Wed, 04 Apr 2012 14:33:14 +0000 Kate Davidson 6900 at http://michiganradio.org Measuring the costs and benefits of retraining Your Story: A retraining success, but not in the industry you’d expect http://michiganradio.org/post/your-story-retraining-success-not-industry-you-d-expect <p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">Jennifer </span>Knightstep<span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; "> was a researcher in the media archives at General Motors until she was laid off in 2008. Her first reaction was fear.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">&ldquo;I panicked for a few minutes, and then I tried to think of what I wanted to do next,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s not a big demand for archivists in Metro Detroit or anywhere else for that matter.&rdquo;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">So instead of trying to get a similar job, Knightstep decided to go in a new direction.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">&ldquo;I thought maybe I should start trying to do what I really wanted to do, which was be a writer.&rdquo;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">When she filed for unemployment, she learned about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/assets/reports-/nsc_nwlb_lessonslearned_2011-01.pdf" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; " target="_blank">No Worker Left Behind</a>, a program in Michigan that offered up to $10,000 in tuition for degrees in emerging industries. NWLB was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20100630/BIZ/6300356" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; " target="_blank">scaled back in 2010</a>&nbsp;following federal funding cuts.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">When most people think about growing fields, freelance writing is not the first job that comes to mind, but Knightstep made it work.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; "> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 20:52:15 +0000 6893 at http://michiganradio.org Your Story: A retraining success, but not in the industry you’d expect Spring has sprung; 99% spring events are coming http://michiganradio.org/post/spring-has-sprung-99-spring-events-are-coming <p>Earlier this year, we told you about <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/02/16/the-next-phase-in-protests-get-ready-for-the-99-spring/">The 99% Spring</a>, the protest movement sponsored by a variety of political and labor groups including MoveOn.org, the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters Union.</p><p>It&rsquo;s part of <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/02/29/dont-call-it-a-comeback-protest-movements-get-ready-for-a-new-push/">a fresh wave</a> of protests that are taking place across the country, in the wake of the Occupy movement.</p><p>Starting next week, 99% Spring events will be kicking off across the United States, and especially in the Midwest.</p><p>Supporters are vowing to train 100,000 people to &ldquo;to tell the story of what happened to our economy, learn the history of non-violent direct action, and use that knowledge to take action on our own campaigns to win change.&rdquo;</p><p>Over the weekend, the UAW sent an email to its members, encouraging them to take part.</p><p>&ldquo;We are at a crucial point in America where if we continue to ignore the opportunity to rebuild this great country, then we risk losing the very essence of what has made this country great,&rdquo; the email said.&nbsp;</p><p>Some 918 events have been scheduled thus far.&nbsp;MoveOn.org, which is associated with the Democratic Party, has a locator for events, where you can put in your zip code and find those closest to you.</p><p>Here are the ones for the <a href="http://civic.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=268&amp;id=&amp;search_distance=100&amp;search_zip=48103&amp;submit=Search">Detroit area,</a> <a href="http://civic.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=268&amp;id=&amp;search_distance=100&amp;search_zip=60611&amp;submit=Search">Chicago and Milwaukee,</a> and <a href="http://civic.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=268&amp;id=&amp;search_distance=100&amp;search_zip=44102&amp;submit=Search">Cleveland.&nbsp;</a>To be sure, the 99% Spring movement hasn&rsquo;t said what will happen once people are trained, but given the training events, it&rsquo;s pretty clear it will meet its goal of training 100,000 people.</p><p>Are you planning to take part in 99% Spring? Let us know where and when. Mon, 02 Apr 2012 15:16:35 +0000 Micki Maynard 6870 at http://michiganradio.org Spring has sprung; 99% spring events are coming To prepare workers, retraining programs try to predict the future http://michiganradio.org/post/prepare-workers-retraining-programs-try-predict-future <p><a href="http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&amp;met_y=unemployment_rate&amp;idim=state:ST260000&amp;fdim_y=seasonality:S&amp;dl=en&amp;hl=en&amp;q=unemployment,+michigan#!ctype=l&amp;strail=false&amp;bcs=d&amp;nselm=h&amp;met_y=unemployment_rate&amp;fdim_y=seasonality:S&amp;scale_y=lin&amp;ind_y=false&amp;rdim=state&amp;idim=state:ST260000:ST390000:ST180000:ST170000&amp;ifdim=state&amp;hl=en_US&amp;dl=en" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">Unemployment numbers</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">&nbsp;in the Midwest are bad. Not as bad as when the recession was at its worst, but there are still a lot of people looking for jobs. Even so, we keep hearing that some employers can&rsquo;t find enough skilled workers. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says in his state alone,&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/12/employers_group_pleased_with_g.html " style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">there are more than 77,000 job openings that can&rsquo;t be filled</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">There is really only one way to bridge that gap. People need training. And the way people are getting that training is changing.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">Wendy Whitmore is the CEO of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.emrapproved.com/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; ">EMR Approved</a>, a company in Chicago that works with doctors and hospitals that are making the switch to electronic medical records.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">Four years ago, EMR Approved didn&rsquo;t exist. Back then, Wendy Whitmore was running&nbsp;<a href="http://ssgservices.com/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; ">SSG Consulting</a>, an IT consulting firm that wasn&rsquo;t doing so well.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">So she decided to try something new, and she took 12 of her employees with her.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; ">Whitmore still runs SSG Consulting, and some of her employees straddle both businesses, but what they&rsquo;re doing now is totally new.</p><p> Wed, 28 Mar 2012 13:47:58 +0000 & Sarah Alvarez 6815 at http://michiganradio.org To prepare workers, retraining programs try to predict the future Agriculture drives the Midwest economy – and farming is just the start of it http://michiganradio.org/post/agriculture-drives-midwest-economy-and-farming-just-start-it <p>This month, we’re looking into some of the hidden assets of the Midwest – the parts of our economy that don’t often get noticed when we talk about our strengths (the first part of the series is <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/03/14/meet-the-machine-that-makes-most-of-the-things-in-your-life/">here</a>). Agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of local economies in the Midwest – it accounts for billions of dollars worth of exports and thousands of jobs. There’s been a lot of concern about whether enough young people are going into farming these days. But the ag industry goes well beyond being just farming – and plenty of young people are interested in that.</p><div class="powerpress_player" id="powerpress_player_9049"><p>At <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/navypier" target="_blank">Navy Pier</a>, a special meeting of the <a href="http://www.chicagoagr.org/" target="_blank">Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences</a>’s FFA chapter is being called to order. Ringed around the room, one by one, chapter officers check in during the traditional opening ceremony. It ends when President and Senior Jennifer Nelson asks her fellow FFA members: “Why are we here?”</p><p>The students stand and chant in unison: “To practice brotherhood, honor agriculture opportunities and responsibilities, and develop those qualities of leadership that an FFA member should possess.” Wed, 21 Mar 2012 20:01:39 +0000 Niala Boodhoo 6732 at http://michiganradio.org Agriculture drives the Midwest economy – and farming is just the start of it Meet the machine that makes most of the things in your life http://michiganradio.org/post/meet-machine-makes-most-things-your-life <p>This month, we&rsquo;re taking a look at some of the hidden assets of the industrial Midwest &ndash; the parts of our economy that don&rsquo;t often get noticed when we talk about our strengths.</p><p>We found one hidden asset right smack in the middle of our manufacturing sector. It&rsquo;s a machine that&rsquo;s in literally thousands of factories across the Midwest. And, though, you might not have heard of it before, the CNC machine &ndash; and the people who operate it &ndash; are at the core of our economy.</p><p>CNC stands for computer-numerically-controlled. And what the computerized machine does is it machines things. That sounds ridiculous unless you know that machine is not just a noun. It&rsquo;s also a specific manufacturing process. Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:22:39 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 6632 at http://michiganradio.org Meet the machine that makes most of the things in your life Blotting Update: Detroit wants to sell you this lot for $200 http://michiganradio.org/post/blotting-update-detroit-wants-sell-you-lot-200 <p>Apparently, the phone has been ringing off the hook over at Detroit&rsquo;s planning department.</p><p>It&rsquo;s all because of a <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/DepartmentsandAgencies/MayorsOffice/StateoftheCity2012/Viewthe2012StateoftheCityAddress.aspx">few lines uttered by Mayor Dave Bing</a> in his <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/DepartmentsandAgencies/MayorsOffice/StateoftheCity2012.aspx">State of the City</a> address last week. <em>(You&rsquo;ll find them about 30 minutes in.)</em></p><p>&ldquo;This week we sent out over 500 letters to property owners in Hubbard Farms, Springwells Village and Southwest Detroit,&rdquo; he announced, &ldquo;telling them if they own a home adjacent to a vacant city-owned lot, they can purchase this lot for a mere $200.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;No coming downtown,&rdquo; the mayor said.&nbsp; &ldquo;No added bureaucracy. The city will mail back the deed.&rdquo;</p><p>Bing&rsquo;s initiative is a response to the overwhelming problem of abandoned property in Detroit.</p><p>It&rsquo;s a problem we explored in our stories about Detroit &ldquo;blotters&rdquo; &mdash; <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/11/09/empty-places-its-not-squatting-its-blotting/">which you can see here</a> and <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/12/05/142341520/blotting-not-squatting-in-detroit-neighborhoods">here</a>. Tue, 13 Mar 2012 19:33:05 +0000 Kate Davidson 6619 at http://michiganradio.org Blotting Update: Detroit wants to sell you this lot for $200 It's Monday, here is something beautiful http://michiganradio.org/post/its-monday-here-something-beautiful <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="300" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/38108000?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="400"></iframe></p><p>Here&rsquo;s what you do: Click on the video, and pop it out to full screen.</p><p>As you watch, remind yourself that this is the place they call the Rust Belt.</p><p>Remind yourself that this is the place that cannot keep its talented young people, because they say it&rsquo;s too cold.</p><p>Too uninspiring.</p><p>Too boring.</p><p>Remind yourself that they say those things.</p><p>Remind yourself that none of it is true.</p><p>Then, get back to work. Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:57:43 +0000 Dustin Dwyer 6601 at http://michiganradio.org