“Atlantic Magazine” conducted a 3-year 54,000 mile journey to determine, “Can America be put back together?” It revealed reinvention and renewal in second and third tier cities that they conclude proves “the economic and cultural resilience of the United States”. Every city featured had suffered an economic, political, environmental or other hardship, yet succeeded in bringing back manufacturing jobs, and jobs in general, with revitalized downtowns and technology enclaves in a multitude of unlikely places. Their secret: Concentrating on local problems they could solve, and ignoring national divisions. My hometown of Duluth, MN was featured. Minnesota Senator Al Franken was a first supporter of Community College education, and re-education, which provides talent for Duluth’s aerospace center begun by Cirrus Design, new manufacturing jobs from TrueRide skateboard park manufacturer, whose scrap is used in their kitchenware and furniture manufacturing companies, and a data center campus for United Healthcare. Kudos go to our Professional Association partners, and their local affiliates, who provide development advisors for communities like Duluth. The lesson: know what you don’t know and bring in the professionals, but most importantly, know what you can, or can’t, change.
February 18, 2016