CHICAGO – Cities across the Midwest are full of immigrant stories. Previous generations filled the factories, building cars, furniture and steel. Now that those jobs are disappearing, cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are hoping another wave of immigrants will help reinvigorate the economy. Changing Gears is a new public media project looking at the reinvention of the industrial Midwest. In this story, we look at the role immigrant entrepreneurs are playing in our economy.
DETROIT, Mich. – Inner city Detroit has been called a food desert. Many of the city’s residents have trouble finding fresh fruit and vegetables in their local stores, a problem that’s also shared by residents of Chicago, Cleveland and other urban places across the region.
That’s ironic, because Detroit is also a major hub for some of the best agricultural products in the country, thanks in large part to the Detroit Produce Terminal. Built by the railroad in 1929, the terminal market comes to life in the middle of the night, when the streets of southwest Detroit are otherwise desolate. It’s safe to say many Detroiters don’t even know that it’s here, just a few blocks from the Ambassador Bridge. Continue reading “At Night in Detroit, The Workers Who Bring You Thanksgiving”
It’s almost Thanksgiving weekend, and football fans in our region are salivating. There’s a full lineup of pro and college football, with high stakes for three Big Ten teams.
For the 71st year in a row, the Detroit Lions are playing on Thanksgiving Day. This year, their opponent will be the New England Patriots. The sold-out game will be a homecoming of sorts for the Pats’ most famous player, quarterback Tom Brady, who led the Michigan Wolverines during his college years. Continue reading “Football Rules The Changing Gears Region”
Did auto workers who took buyouts make the wrong choice? Are those who stayed on the job better off? That’s a question some may be pondering, now that the auto industry is beginning to climb back.
On Monday, Kate Davidson of Changing Gears looked at the topic for NPR’s Morning Edition. Her story featured a former Chrysler worker, Joseph Arducan, who Changing Gears is following over the next year as he tries to figure out his next steps.
Download the audio or click to play here
Talk to anyone in the tech community around Chicago and they’ll never fail to mention to you that many of the country’s biggest tech companies were founded by people who at least went to school in Illinois, or who are from here: heavy hitters like Oracle’s Larry Ellison, YouTube (now Google’s) Steve Chen, or PayPal co-founder Max Levchin. Of course, they left and hit it big in Silicon Valley – not in Chicago. The Illinois Technology Association is trying to change that with their first ever Fall Challenge, where they matchmake top tech students throughout the state with employers who are also based here.
Students across Illinois competed to be here by taking a computer science test – you didn’t have to be officially studying computer tech or engineering, by the way, just have those skills. The top 40 are here in Chicago, Thursday and Friday, to take another exam and to interview with local employers. The highest-scoring student gets gets $5,000 – and everyone gets a chance to be recruited. UPDATE: According to @itabuzz, University of Chicago student Michael Lusignan won.
We’ve been looking at the reinvention of Pittsburgh. Now, we move west to see whether the ideas that worked there can work in other places. One such city is Detroit. Here is a report from Sarah Hulett, of Changing Gears partner station Michigan Radio.
Pittsburgh is looking up these days. Many point to the steel mills turned into technology parks, or the slight uptick in population as signs that Pittsburgh could be a model for the rest of the industrial Midwest, but all this doesn’t mean Pittsburgh is out of the woods.
Growing up, my fish experiences were limited to Fridays and fish sticks. But once I discovered Monahan’s Seafood, in the Kerrytown Market, an entire world opened up. Monahan’s sells everything from Lake Superior whitefish to Copper River salmon to a lobster salad that rivals any you’ll find in Maine. Continue reading “Reinvention Recipes: Monahan’s Seafood”
The steel city is now more like the medical and technology city with hundreds of start up companies, a below average unemployment rate, and more jobs than during the height of the steel era. Not bad just three decades after its major industry collapsed. In Part 1, we described that remarkable transformation. In this story, we hear how it happened. Continue reading “Changing Gears Presents Reinventing Pittsburgh: Part 2”