As we are down about a million jobs since 2000, I am happy to take all of the above and more. However, I have had one idea in mind for several years, and given recent news, I thought I would share and circulate.
- There is a global shortage of air traffic controllers;
- We don't have enough in the US, and the ones we do have will be retiring soon;
- Other countries don't have enough either (otherwise we would probably import them), and air traffic around the world is growing;
- Despite the high pay, air traffic controllers are overworked, highly stressed, and, according to recent news reports, falling asleep on the job
Why can't Detroit become a global hub for air traffic control? The need for the personnel is clear, and I think we could both train and employ air traffic controllers locally. We could develop academies or training/certification programs or have our universities form departments for air traffic control. Instead of studying automotive engineering, perhaps mathematically included university students could pursue air traffic control. Furthermore, given the increasing connectivity, communication sophistication, and advancement in monitoring, why can't monitoring for airplanes/airports around the world be done from Detroit (or Romulus)? Just as we initiated the mass production of automobiles, maybe we can mass produce air traffic controllers and develop a high tech center than tracks and guides planes around the world. This could represent tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, and it is worth looking into. It would benefit Detroit while solving a global crisis.
I'm not sure what the requirements would be and how feasible this idea really is, but I hope the Aerotropolis people look at it. If anybody should think about something like this, it should be us. It really fits what we have here: we have a great airport, are building toward an aerotropolis, have a large talent pool of quantitative/analytical types that graduate each year from our universities, we have a relatively low cost of living, and many other advantages.