There are cultural differences that exist around the country and your area Dow is suffering from that. Where I went to high school there wasn't a lot of big industries around paying good wages but one of them was the railroad. Some guys (especially sons of railroaders) thought that was the ticket and "hung their hat" on getting a job with the railroad. Most looked for another way up the ladder (college, armed forces, etc).
In the north the unions and manufacturing jobs gave a lot of people middle class success (without any marketable skills) for many years. Kids aspired to "get a job at the plant".
If you learn a trade you'll always have a job but you may have to move to the sun belt to do it.
OK, detroit is having some hard times, so what do you do ? cry about it or do something about it,,I'm just saying that it is no worse there than it is right outside my door, and I am not complaining. We are both in the rust belt, if things bad enough for me to leave I will pack up and leave but until then I am not going to put the area down.
Who is putting the area down? You asked me my opinion. I gave you what I beleive is the problem. Not putting it down. First step in the solving the issues is to identify them.
Another thing brightstar, I was not *****ing. The thread was about how I was able to give my children, a real life example of why haviong a trade, a skill that is needed is so important.