Like many other Midwestern rust-belt cities, we are facing closures of several industrial factories. We have a GM supplier (Delphi) and a Ford supplier (Visteon), a automobile vinyl manufacturer and a foundry all close (or offer buyouts) within the last year. What are good replacement jobs/industries for these unskilled laborers who were once making $25-$35/hr pushing buttons in factories?
It seems our area is already geared toward tourism, but these workers will not be able to live on $8-10/hr jobs at the hotels, retail stores and restaurants that crop up. We have no pubic utilites (besides the standard water and sewer) to offer up to attract any new industry. What have other rust-belt cities turned to in replacement of these jobs?
The skilled workers will likely survive, as construction on these new retail and hotel are always ongoing and these types of services will seemingly be in demand for a long time to come. My question is geared more in the interest of the unskilled workers (button-pushers) of automated or semi-automated machines.
So far the resultant of these eliminations of jobs, our local housing market is down and foreclosures are at record highs as these former workers who once made very good money can no longer afford their mortgage payments. They can only down-grade on their housing, yet the supply of workers who can afford their $200k+ houses dwindles - therefore houses sit on the market for 9mo-1yr+.