West Michigan is that place where all those horror stories about job loss and despair begin these days. The rest of the country is in a recession, but here where the auto making world got its parts and supplies made and where the beaches are a tourist haven and a comfortable vacation place, is no longer that sanctuary for those of us who live here with our hopes and dreams.
Much of our industry here is tied closely, if not exclusively to the auto industry and has refused to desert the sinking ship called Ford, Chrysler and GM. Many people believe that idea is really a stupid one to continue to do, but over the years and through all the recessions we've experienced that loyalty to the maker of cars and it has kept jobs strong here. but along with those loyalties developed in this Northern European ethnic stronghold ripened a stubbornness and some times an inability to see change as something worthy, or even good for our communities. Many still feel if they hold out till the worst is over that all will be well.
Don't get me wrong, there are industries that have had come that are independent from those makers of the minivans, sport coupes and basic family cars. But we have to find a way to recreate the jobs and hope for our workers. We have to find a way to get beyond the fear of the crash and begin creating again. Creating jobs, secure lives...and a future for our families.