Thursday, September 13, 2007

Poorest city, schools, future, etc.

I like to report the good news about Youngstown, and why wouldn't I, but this one can't and shouldn't be avoided. Well, here it is... gulp... Youngstown is the poorest mid-size city in America. It is a real surprise that we are on this list? Not exactly. No one in Youngstown is flush in cash and there are enough dilapidated properties that we wouldn't be fooling anyone if we said we were a rich town, but it is sad to be at the top of this list. With a median income of just $21,850, it makes you realize that about 50% of the city lives on less than that per year. Even in Youngstown, with a wonderful cost of living, that isn't enough to support a family.

I first caught wind of this while reading the online edition of The Jambar, which does a fairly good job of covering not just YSU news but city news as well. While reading, something struck me. We (meaning the bloggers and the mainstream news) do an excellent job of tauting the wonderful progress made in the city and how a lot of that has to do with new local businesses such as M7 and Turning Technologies. Even with those successes, where is our bottom line? It's still at $21,850. And why? Because while we are providing new high tech jobs, how many of those jobs will employ the average city resident, who lacks the education and training to compete? I mention this because The Jambar piece mentioned the restructuring and revitalization of Youngstown City Schools as something which provides a glimmer of hope for Youngstown; something to push us down the Poorest City list and up the Progressive City list.

I hope that may very well be the case. In 2007, you can't do much without education, and we need to look in our own backyards and educate our city residents, starting with those kids at Harding, Taft, Paul C. Bunn and the others, before this city can claim any success in its efforts to revitalize itself.

In other news:

BTW: I stopped using the "redevelopment" tag on articles. Almost every article was getting that tag and since that is one of the major focuses of this blog, it seemed silly to tag articles that way.

P.S. (Blog Post +4): Four hours later I am realizing this is one of the most rambling posts I have written. That's what I get for a little stream of consciousness writing. Also, I ran across this link to the Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association's website. This is the sort of stuff which gets at what I was trying to say.

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