As we learned earlier in class, producers in similar fields tend to gather in the same geographic locations. This can be due to availability of resources, trained workers, customers, and even the possibility of sharing ideas and innovations with others. Additionally, industries tend to build up in certain areas because of spin offs setting up close to their parent companies. Many of these factors have played into Detroit becoming American’s auto producing capital.
In the past, Detroit thrived as a hub of production in the country, with plenty hiring potential. This is no longer the case. In his piece, “Demand for Detroit housing leads to expanded cash incentive program”, JC Reindi discusses programs in Detroit called Live Midtown and Live Dowtown which attempt to make incentives for certain professionals to live in Detroit. Currently, the programs subsidize workers for the Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University, and Detroit Medical Center, offering $20,000 towards the purchase of a home in Detroit.
Although these incentives don’t apply directly to those involved in the auto industry, it seems to be a sign that people are less willing to live and work in the struggling city of Detroit. When this is paired with the fact that foreign car companies have been setting up shop outside of Detroit, seeming to favor the south, the question arises of whether or not Detroit is the best place for the American auto industry to be centered. It would be interesting to see if manufacturers would choose to stay in Detroit, or if they just feel anchored by their existing plants and connections.
I think that when we are in Detroit it will be interesting to see if Detroit still seems like the best place to be making cars, or if producers just feel stuck there, forced to introduce new systems for attracting capable employees.