Daily Video

December 9, 2009

College Towns Stay Afloat in Economic Downturn

Although the state of Michigan has the nation’s highest unemployment rate, the college town of Ann Arbor is buzzing with activity thanks to the University of Michigan college campus and research institution.

Like other cities that are home to big public universities, Ann Arbor brings in tens of thousands of college students every year with money to put into the town’s economy. The University of Michigan is spending money in the community – on research and development in particular – funding jobs and attracting people from all over the world.

In this video from the Patchwork Nation series, Ray Suarez reports from this thriving college and careers center.

Quotes

“If Michigan is going to reinvent itself, it’s going to start by trying to diversify ourselves and reinvent ourselves across the board. And that takes a change of mind-set. And the best place to change that mind-set is within a university environment, where you have got young minds who are eager, who have an opportunity in front of them, and they’re still looking forward, not looking backwards.” – Marc Weiser, RPM Ventures

“We’re still going to have a good 10 years of kind of sorting through a bigger economic, you know, restructuring we have to do in this country.” – Dante Chinni, project director, Patchwork Nation

Warm Up Questions

1. What kind of community do you live in? Where do people work? What kinds of jobs are available?

2. What has happened to America’s manufacturing sector?

3. What is a “college town”?

Discussion Questions

1. What did you learn from this video? Did any of the information surprise you?

2. What are the similarities between your community and the college town Ann Arbor, Michigan? What are the differences?

3. The video report mentions how unemployment rate in nearby Detroit is as high as 30 percent while Ann Arbor’s rate is much lower. Why do you think that Detroit is struggling the way it is? What does the contrast say about how people value college towns?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript of this report

Download this Video

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