The latest employment figured are best called “slightly better than dismal”. The Midwest is usually hit every hard in these figures due to losses in manufacturing and energy. Face it, replacing a factory job with a McDonalds counter job is negative growth.
If you wanted to spark a recovery in the Midwest, here is what you could do…
1)Establish two new Business / Tech / Manufacturing hubs in Indiana. One at I-74 W and Indiana State Line, the other at I-64 W and Indiana State Line. This allows for businesses and jobs to relocate from Illinois to reap the benefit of lower land prices, regulations, and taxes. As someone who lives in Indiana and works in Illinois, I see the benefit of a plan like this.
2)Go all in with Vocational/Technical Prep Programs. In our job market, its a sad reality that many of our students simply aren’t prepared for the workplace. We have an education system bent on keeping teachers unions happy, getting the best test scores out of kids to get more money, and getting them into college. Then what? Are they prepared for the workplace in college? In many cases no. There are many jobs in our country that do not need much or any college, but specialized training in a field. Welding, Construction, Information Technology, Automotive, and many more great careers with a pretty low entry point compared to the typical college debt load. Let’s make this happen.
3)Agriculture is not the enemy of Job Growth. The US has long been a leader in squeezing the most production per acre of ag products. Let’s continue this trend with new solutions, bathed in the technology that is available today to feed a world. These new solutions need people to create and produce them. I have clients that are small ag startups that are doing things I never would have even dreamed possible with todays technology.
We can do this.