Nick's Feed
Aug 2, 2013

Even when jobs return, Detroit’s workers fall short on skills

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has a long list of things to fix in the city and among them is one that may sound surprising: there are not enough skilled workers to fill job openings as they become available.

“Every problem in this city revolves around jobs,” said Lindsay Chalmers, vice president of non-profit Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “That’s at the heart of the issue for Detroit.”

Aug 2, 2013

Small manufacturers bet on Detroit brand despite bankruptcy

DETROIT (Reuters) – For nearly six decades Detroit’s story has been one of relentless erosion of its once mighty manufacturing base, but even as the Motor City faces a long bankruptcy a clutch of small producers has moved in to rekindle the “Made in Detroit” brand.

Making products ranging from bicycles to luxury watches and “sleeping bag” coats designed for the homeless, these small firms have tapped into a surprising amount of demand for goods made in a city more commonly associated today with failure and decline.

Jul 31, 2013

Michigan attorney general sees no conflict in defending Detroit retirees

DETROIT (Reuters) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he sees no conflict in representing the state’s governor, who approved Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, while at the same time representing Detroit’s retirees, who assert that the filing is illegal.

In both cases, Schuette said, he is defending Michigan’s constitution. He also pointed out that his office is often called upon to appear on conflicting sides of the same case.

Jul 25, 2013

Detroit area’s battle with blight may be key to survival

DETROIT (Reuters) – If you want to tackle Detroit’s thousands of abandoned homes and trash-strewn and overgrown lots, there are few better places to start than in Brightmoor in the northwestern corner of the city.

“Brightmoor is arguably one of the most blighted areas in Detroit, which makes it one of the most blighted areas in the country,” said Kirk Mayes, executive director of community group the Brightmoor Alliance. “If you can tackle blight in Brightmoor, you can do it anywhere.”

Jul 23, 2013

Despite mutual dislike, Michigan may need Detroit

DETROIT (Reuters) – Defending his decision to approve America’s largest ever bankruptcy filing in Detroit last week, Rick Snyder returned to a point that he has been hitting on since his successful run for governor in 2010: for Michigan to thrive, Detroit must prosper.

“We’re the comeback state in Michigan, but to be a great state we need…Detroit on the path to being a great city again,” the Republican governor said at a press conference on Friday.

Jul 22, 2013

Bankrupt Detroit’s downtown renaissance creates trickle of hope

DETROIT, July 22 (Reuters) – Detroit’s bankruptcy filing
last Thursday – the largest in American municipal history -
completed a six-decade slide for a one-time industrial
powerhouse. Today the city bears an uncomfortable resemblance to
a failed state: unable to light or police the streets, educate
children, stop arson, or provide emergency care to the dying.

There is, however, a mini-renaissance occurring in the
downtown core. It is here that Detroit might just be carving out
a new identity, this one driven not by cars but by computers.
The Internet-focused businesses springing up have attracted
thousands of young, well-educated, tech-savvy “urban pioneers.”

Jul 19, 2013

Detroit bonds drop, judge seeks to halt bankruptcy filing

DETROIT, July 19 (Reuters) – Investors dumped Detroit’s
municipal bonds a day after the city’s historic bankruptcy
filing even as a ruling in state court raised questions about
whether the bankruptcy will stand up to court review.

Attempts by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit’s
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to put a positive spin on the filing
failed to reassure investors. Prices on some Detroit bonds
plunged and there were wider declines in the $3.7 trillion U.S.
municipal bond market.

Jul 19, 2013

Detroit faces long road through bankruptcy, officials say

DETROIT, July 19 (Reuters) – Michigan Governor Ricky Snyder
and Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr sought on Friday to
assuage residents’ concerns over the city’s bankruptcy
proceedings while acknowledging that a lengthy court battle
awaits.

“We’re the comeback state in Michigan, but to be a great
state we need Detroit on the path to being a great city again,”
Snyder, a Republican, said at a press conference.

Jul 19, 2013

Detroit files for largest-ever bankruptcy in U.S. history

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history on Thursday, setting the stage for a costly court battle with creditors and opening a new chapter in the long struggle to revive the city that was the cradle of the American auto industry.

The bankruptcy, if approved by a federal judge, would force Detroit’s thousands of creditors into negotiations with the city’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to resolve an estimated $18.5 billion in debt that has crippled Michigan’s largest city.

Jul 18, 2013

Detroit files for bankruptcy, stage set for court fight

DETROIT, July 18 (Reuters) – Detroit filed the largest-ever
municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history on Thursday, marking a new
low for a city that was the cradle of the U.S. automotive
industry and setting the stage for a costly court battle with
creditors.

In a letter accompanying the filing, Michigan’s Governor
Rick Snyder said he had approved a request from Detroit
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy
protection noting, “Detroit simply cannot raise enough revenue
to meet its current obligations, and that is a situation that is
only projected to get worse absent a bankruptcy filing.”

    • About Nick

      "Nick Carey is a Chicago-based, British-born journalist who has covered everything from the near-collapse of the Big Three automakers to the U.S. housing crisis. Nick is currently on general assignment, reporting on the human impact of the recession. He previously spent ten years working in central and eastern Europe."
    • More from Nick

    • Follow Nick