Frontline puts Dayton in spotlight as city left behind

Dayton is the subject of a Frontline/ProPublica report that aired Tuesday, Sept. 11, about cities that have failed to bounce back since the recession. The report is called Left Behind America.

The topic is familiar to us at the Dayton Daily News because we've been examining the local economy as part of our initiative, The Path Forward. You can see all of our stories here.

REACTION: What you thought about Frontline portraying Dayton as city left behind

The team seeks to find solutions to some of the region's biggest problems, including why the local economy is booming for some people while others are still struggling. Here is how to access our story: How do we make the economy boom for all? 

Our Path Forward stories have also examined the opioid crisis and its impact on the community, and the struggles of the Dayton Public School system.

Among the challenges Dayton faces is turning around its image as the nation's "overdose capital." We dug into that with our first Path Forward story. You can read that here. 

We also examined the difficulty many people in recovery have finding employment. 

Dayton's struggles also show up in the schools, and our reporters have looked at the challenges facing the Dayton Public School system, along with some possible solutions. Read our latest story about DPS here: Urgent turnaround needed as state takeover looms. 

What has emerged from our coverage is how many people truly love this community and are working hard to overcome adversity. One of our stories profiled Westwood Elementary School Principal Akesha Shehee, who is working to turn around the performance of children in one of Dayton's most impoverished neighborhoods.

Another story featured Casey Steckling, the founder of Dayton Recovers, who is working everyday at helping to give the city's residents a better life.

The stories have asked hard questions, such as why some Dayton schools have used long-term substitutes instead of regular classroom teachers. Or why jobs are going unfilled despite thousands of unemployed people in the region.

Our stories on The Path Forward run each week in the Dayton Daily News and on our premium website MyDaytonDailyNews. We've also set up Facebook groups around each of the topics. You can join these groups by searching The Path Forward: Addiction in Dayton, The Path Forward: Dayton schools, and The Path Forward: Dayton - Jobs & the Economy.

We want to engage the community in each of these topics and hope you will get involved. On Sept. 16 we are publishing an in-depth package of stories that examines the so-called skills gap in Dayton, and whether the region will get left behind in a future where more technical skills will be needed in the workforce.

The Frontline package aired at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, on PBS.

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