NY Times Article on GM's 100 Year Anniversary
FLINT, Mich. — A 100th birthday party, one would think, is cause for special celebration.
But here in Flint, the honoree is the company that both built the city and left much of it collapsed. And so, like generations of a family recognizing a controversial patriarch, people here are taking note of the centennial of the founding of General Motors with a complicated mixture of respect and anger, pride and hurt.
Now the city, home to the University of Michigan-Flint, Kettering University, Baker College of Flint and Mott Community College, is trying to reinvent itself as a hub of higher education. The area has already switched to a service-based economy from one based on manufacturing, said Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan-Flint, with a higher percentage of service jobs and a lower percentage of manufacturing jobs than the country as a whole (see chart above).
“Automotive jobs are gone, G.M. jobs are gone, and now we have to move towards a new identity, hopefully for the next 100 years,” Professor Perry said.