Seven years ago when President Obama took office, we we're experiencing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression: hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their jobs, their homes, and their savings. This was the case for jobs across America, particularly in the heart of the Midwest in the Motor City. President Obama made the tough call within his first few months in office to place a bet on American workers and American manufacturing—and to place a bet on Detroit—by providing temporary Federal assistance to rescue the American auto industry. He also initiated a broader commitment to the City of Detroit.
Today, America is in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history.
Manufacturing has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years and the auto industry had its best year ever in 2015. But there’s more work to be done to ensure a growing economy that works for all Americans.
To highlight this progress, President Obama is visiting Detroit to experience firsthand the remarkable progress made by the American auto industry, the city, and its people and neighborhoods.
Check out the highlights on the progress we've made to date:
Check back for updates
Detroit’s challenges were decades in the making and will not be resolved overnight, but this collaboration has led to some notable and steady progress.
Then: Half of Detroit was in the dark: 44,000 of Detroit's 88,000 Street Lights didn't work.
Now: Detroit neighborhoods fully lit 59,000 out of 65,000 new streetlights with LED lighting, saving nearly 46 million kilowatts of energy every year, and resulting in nearly $3 million annual cost savings in electricity for the city.
Then: The Detroit City Bus Service couldn't run a full schedule with only 138 working buses (out of 188).
Now: 80 new buses purchased so that the city can now, after decades, meet its full bus schedule. There are now 192 buses on the road daily, the most in 20+ years. Ridership has increased by 25,000 to 50,000 trips per week.
Then: The city of Detroit had the highest rate of unemployment at 24.8%, the highest unemployment level of the 50 largest cities.
Now: The unemployment continues to fall to 10.70%, compared to 13.9% one year prior.
Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Detroit-native, is taking over the White House Instagram while on the ground in the Motor City. Follow along!
Hi everyone! Cecilia Muñoz here, White House Domestic Policy Director and Detroit native. Today, I'm in the Motor City with President Obama as he heads to the Auto Show to highlight how the American auto industry has made a roaring comeback. I'm excited to be back in my home city touring the neighborhoods with Mayor Mike Duggan to get an up close and personal look at the remarkable progress made by this city and its people. The White House and twenty federal agencies have been working with the Mayor, his team, and other local partners to bring back this great city. Stay tuned for more to come throughout the day! #DetroitComeback –Cecilia
A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on Jan 20, 2016 at 9:40am PST
Laura Miller is the Deputy Director of Online Engagement.