Places that used to be industrial powerhouses have lately shot for a tech angle in their branding, jockeying to be labeled the next Silicon Valley. But increasingly, regions are rethinking their futures by looking to their past.
Ariella Cohen, editor-in-chief of a nonprofit online publication called Next City, thinks it’s a good thing. A recent article on the site titled “Cleveland Wants to Make Sure the Next Wright Brothers Come From the Rust Belt” argues that moving forward can be about realizing what you’re not.
“I think people are beginning to recognize that they’re not Silicon Anything,” she says. Cohen points out that the legacy of manufacturing and the infrastructure that still exists in cities like Cleveland and Detroit make them more suitable for an industry that makes things.
“In all these cases, what’s really important is that the business community is talking with the universities,” she adds. Youngstown, Ohio, for example, has a community college that has built a makers’ studio. The studio, in turn, provides job opportunities and training.
Click the media player above to hear more.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.