Election

Economics and Education – “Shifting Gears”

There have been considerable discussions about the prevailing use and disposition of the Ford Industrial Property. Plans are available, and there are many community leaders working toward future projects that would return the property to a useful economic purpose.
A quest for a potential purpose for the property and the rehabilitation or sale of the property should continue.

Additionally, it has been noted that there is a necessity to “shift gears”…planning for the useful purpose of the area is desirable.
However, noteworthy is the fact that the automotive driven economy of our region and the world has diminished: automotive bankruptcies prevail, home foreclosures predominates the landscape, unemployment persists and people have lost what little they have saved.

“Shifting gears” in purposes of land use planning is a great idea, but to what “gear” do we shift? Unfortunately, the present automotive-economically-driven-engine cannot perform in any other gear! Furthermore, no other economic gear presently exists!

However, the necessity to “shift Gears” is a thought-provoking idea and a necessity for our consideration as a community.
The prevailing automotive economy cannot perform or reform our local economy. Acknowledgement and recognition of this fact should be obvious.

The automotive sector is an important industry, and it will be a significant part of the economy for a long time. However, it will no longer dominate as a forceful regional industry.

In recognizing and accepting the premise offer, “that an automotive engine is no longer capable of economic performance“, we must acknowledge that at new engine is needed.

If we are to “shift gears”, shifting gears with a new economic engine is a prerequisite!
The conceptualization of “shifting gears” with a new economic engine is not only a good idea…but also a Great Idea!
The need to “shift gears” is eminent!
The time to shift gears is now!

However, to what economic “gear” shall we shift, and what economic engine is to be considered?
The “economic shift” for sustainability of the community is predicated on a premise noted in earlier discussions with community leaders and well illustrated within the documentation for Oakland County Economic Outlook “Summary Report 2008-2010“. The document forecasts future job growth by Major Sector and Educational Composition.
Based upon the factors outlined in the Economic Report, as well as US and Global Statistics, a new economic direction is a relevant question. In these depressed economic times, the direction for economic sustainability for the City of Wixom is an honest question. The question and answer are important.
A reasonable response is for The City of Wixom to consider “Education as a Business” for economic growth and for Wixom to become a “Center for Educational Excellence”.
Discussions with many community leaders have held the belief that the City needed to diversify and change the economic dynamics of our community and the region.
The reasoning, based upon the often-quoted proverb, …if you do not know the location or destination to which you are sailing, no wind is favorable!
The proverb validates the day-to-day prognostications of when the bottom of the present recession or depression will abate!
The premise noted in those discussions is to make the City Of Wixom an “Educational Center of Excellence“ in concert with a focus on the “Business of Education“. The premise actualized, would transition and broaden our economic base and create a dynamic and diverse community.
Several characteristics are laudable:
The City Of Wixom should become an “Educational Center of Excellence“.

  • “Education is a Business” that can lead the City to economic sustainability!
  • Education as a business “theme” or “distinctive character” potentiality opens the doors to a progressive economic future using existing technical resources well established within the industrial and business sectors.
  • Education and academic facilities with associated resources directed and targeted to businesses and professional services offer a transitioning from our historic economic perspective of automotive based and dominated economy to a broader expansion of economic interests in all areas of the economy.
  • ? Establishment and recognition by the Planning Commission with associated land-use-planning and development of supporting documents would assist greatly in defining the characteristics and elements of “Education as a Business”.

Planning Commission’s acknowledgement and supporting recommendations to the Council and to the Administration would potentially lead to a plethora of educational and business opportunity for employment in professional and technical services.
Educational facilities once established would give the community a positive response to the present negative trend that recognizes the present limitations on workforce growth that are highlighted by the deficiencies in education that are detrimental to productivity.
Education and training are major ways to enhance productivity and increase employment in the economy.
Present forecasts indicate that health care, leisure, hospitality industry, professional and business services are among the fastest growing industries.
Furthermore, employment in industries with above-average educational requirements will grow twice as fast as jobs in industries requiring less indication. (Ref: Econ. Outlook of Oakland Co.)
More than 200 major industries need educated employees located within our community and regionally.
Graduations from our local and regional high schools offer tremendous at-home resources of available students for continuing educational opportunities. As cost of education increases: tuition, fees, travel expenses, and housing; educational opportunities in technical and professional opportunities locally available become easily accessed and affordable in trying times.
We do not need a Michigan State or Michigan University, but we could become an “Educational Center of Excellence“.
What is wanted, what is needed, is an educational based economy with associated facilities that address business, professional, and technical needs of the community.
Educational opportunities within Wixom would stimulate Downtown and City growth adding annual economic vitality to our present and future businesses.
Vitality comes from the available and productive individuals that have met the educational criteria and are employable. Local businesses and professional services would compete for these newly educated and well-trained individuals.
The Planning Commission’s formal recognition and acknowledgement that Education is a Business structurally incorporated into the Community Development and Planning Documents for prioritization in public policy by the Council and Administration would ignite the transition of the economic future of the community.
An Educational Center of Excellence in Wixom is possible.
Planning Commission’s formalization and approval of an often-discussed premise is in focus. A proposition discussed but never materialized.
A new direction for retention and growth of existing businesses would substantially and effectively promote the transition into an economy directed to complement the projected future growth industries that add potential and productivity to the economy, our City, and regionally.
I realize this short essay or memo is not an all-encompassing proposal and much collaboration and detail must be developed and undertaken within the Administration, Council, and this Commission.
A complex idea stated simply and directly was my purpose for writing!.
I think I have failed in this attempt!
Nevertheless, I would hope that the discussions and merits of Education as a Business would commence.
Furthermore, I would believe that the community and all interested parties would welcome a positive disposition of the proposal.
Wixom could become the Center of Educational Excellence!
Our constituency of multi-corporations, professional services, technical businesses, are all available recourses. Surrounding our community are health-care centers, hospitals, and technical centers that offer an exuberating advantage. Land availability and office space for education and training are readily available. We too offer a premier location within Oakland County.
Thank you for your time and consideration of “Education as a Business“, and the “Business of Education” as an economic “engine” for potential sustainable of the Community.

Download a PDF version of this letter in full: Economics and Education – “Shifting Gears”

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