For decades, the United States was considered the land of opportunity: a place where hard work resulted in educational opportunities and a job that paid a livable wage, offered opportunities for advancement, and included affordable healthcare.
Today, that vision is being challenged. Rapid technological advancement, shifting economic infrastructure, and stagnant wages — coupled with the structural inequities that has crippled opportunities for minority populations — has led to what many are considering a nearly insurmountable wealth and opportunity gap.
These changes are felt acutely in the Mahoning Valley. The steady decline in manufacturing jobs, inequities in the labor market, and the flight of young, ambitious individuals to other parts of the state have left little in the way of economic opportunity. Recently, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services place Trumbull and Mahoning among the 10 Ohio counties with the highest unemployment rates.
What happens now? How is the region's leadership adjusting to the new economy? What now constitutes a "good job" — and what strategies are being implemented to bring these jobs to the Valley? And are they enough to meet the needs of residents?
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