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Posts Tagged ‘Flint’

My Take on the Flint Area Economy

In News on January 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Possible business foreclosures …as if Flint, MI needs more vacant properties. Some of the small businesses that are what’s left of the backbone of this city didn’t see much improvement in 2012, and now consumer-driven markets are predicted to slow due to the payroll tax hike. I see more unemployment in Flint’s future. True, employment in Genesee County is growing in the health care sector. But there’s only so much saturation that job market can take. I hear “lottery” mentioned by a different person at least once a week, and I take it as a direct indication of the local economy: it’s bad.

 The winning ticket for Wednesday's $337 million Powerball drawing was bought in Michigan.

The only thing most powerball tickets are worth is the paper they are printed on.  Photo credit

I think the key to job growth in Genesee (and everywhere in the US, the world) is technology. We’re arguably in the middle of a digital revolution where technology is obsolete by the time it hits the market and yet basic coding (in any language: Python, C++, Java, PHP, etc) wasn’t taught in Flushing High School when I graduated in 2008. It needs to be taught. There’s no excuse. Tech skills (not limited to end-user skills) are now a basic component of many jobs and fields.

Lawmakers could help by passing tax cuts and other business-friendly incentives for the tech field to attract a larger college-educated, skilled tech crowd to the greater Detroit, and especially the Flint area. If lawmakers do nothing and schools continue this lack of technology in their curriculum, I suspect UM – Flint graduates will continue to move out of Genesee county after graduation for better jobs. And there’s no reason why Flint, MI can’t be the next Austin, TX as a destination for Silicon Valley ex-pats. Michigan is a beautiful state with lots of options for outdoor sports in all four seasons, and we have unique community events like Back to the Bricks and Zehnder’s Snowfest. Michigan has great potential, but if the economy doesn’t improve, I may be moving out-of-state, or at least out-of-Flint, once I get my degree.

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