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We asked readers how to fix Dayton’s economy. This is what they told us.

The nation’s economic recovery is driving down unemployment and and making life better for some people in the Dayton region.

But many are left out of the economic recovery, as wages stagnate and thousands cannot find a job or are working in low-paying part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time work.

The Dayton Daily News is examining the economic recovery and ways our region’s residents can benefit more fully as part of The Path Forward, a focused effort on finding solutions to the region’s most pressing problems.

Staub Manufacturing president says finding workers is difficult

Here is a sampling of comments from people to The Path Forward stories on the economy that appeared this week starting on Sunday.

  • “People need an attitude makeover,” said Lynnette Neff on Facebook. “There is no work ethic or taking pride in one’s accomplishments.”
  • “Before we can overcome many of the issues you and others are mentioning in your reporting, the critical factor is the family, the role models and the values transmitted to the kids,” said Gregg Cross , a retired Beavercreek educator. “Without, our backs are against the wall, regardless of any revolution in workplace education.”
  • “If a person has not finished high school there will be a “skills gap” and poor prospects for a decent paying job,” said Charlie Gross. “The formula: finish high school, get married after finishing high school….and then have children. You may be surprised at poverty rates when that formula is followed.”
  • “So many of these ‘unfilled’ jobs would be more-than-adequately filled if employers stopped ignoring older workers, specifically those over 50,” said Cyndi Pauwels via email. “I can personally attest (and know of several others) who searched fruitlessly for many months, if not years without success because of hidden ageism.”
  • Gary Turpin, 55, of Dayton said companies need to consider hiring people with felony records who have turned around their lives. “When you hold it against somebody you may be losing the star player on your team that you do not have.”
  • “Start somewhere (anywhere), prove you are responsible and work your way up!” said Deb Hartley on Facebook. “You’ll have a lot more self-respect!”
  • “First we need to demolish abandoned homes and lease empty buildings. It would raise the city’s moral and overall appearance. Second, we need to take care of our major streets. We want our residents and visitors to have a smooth commute to and from Dayton,” said Tevin Charles on Facebook. “(And) we need to take a look at what has worked for other cities alike and what significant changes they’ve made and adopt some ideas. Starting small could benefit us in a large way.”
  • “It’s called stop doing drugs so you can pass a drug test,” said Keith Shultz on Facebook. “People seem to think it’s more important to smoke dope than to get a job.”
  • “Parents are failing,” said Barry Dwayne Geer on Facebook.
  • “Part of the problem is that small businesses that supported places like GM and NCR are gone. It’s not getting some company to move here and hire 800 people that will change things. It’s getting 100 businesses started that each hire 50 people,” said Mark Hutchins on Facebook.
  • “You will never get the economy to ‘boom for all,” said Randy Caperton on Facebook. “The sad truth is that many didn’t bother to get an education so they’re limited to the jobs they’re qualified for, some are perfectly fine with living on public assistance while others can’t hold a job because they want to do as little as possible and do things their way.”

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Readers differed on the issue of wage stagnation, with some, with some, like Seth Martin on Facebook, saying that companies need to raise wages.

But Shultz responded to Martin by saying, “You get paid what you are worth to a company. Low skills equal low pay.”

Matthew Kirk noted that it isn’t necessarily that simple.

“If nobody wants the jobs for what they are paying I guess the worker is worth more” Kirk said. “That is just simple supply and demand economics.”

THE PATH FORWARD

Like all of you, we care deeply about our community, and want it to be the best it can be. There is much to celebrate in the Dayton region, but we also face serious challenges. If we don’t find solutions to them, our community will never be its best.

We have formed a new team to dig into the most pressing issues facing the Miami Valley. We want to engage you and others in the community to move toward a stronger and better future. We’ve begun a project we are calling The Path Forward in which, with your help and that of a new 16-member community advisory board, we will seek solutions to issues readers told us they were most concerned about.

In June, we began the project by examining the current state of the opioid epidemic, asking what a recovered community would look like. A few weeks ago, we began an examination of Dayton Public Schools. Today, we explore why the local economy is booming for some people, while others continue to struggle.

Follow the project on our Facebook pages and at DaytonDailyNews/PathForward, and share your ideas.

JOIN our Facebook group - The Path Forward: Dayton - Jobs & the Economy

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