With his visit to Chattanooga, President Obama could not have picked a better place to highlight the economic recovery already in place and the need for all of us to work together to bolster the middle class. The president's plan ignites a needed discussion on how we spur a renaissance in manufacturing, make strategic investments in technology, education and infrastructure, and create new ladders of opportunity for Chattanooga, for Tennessee, and for the nation.
In many ways, Chattanooga is not very different from industrial cities throughout the nation. We boomed in the 1950s and 1960s only to see sharp economic declines in the 1970s and 1980s. Good jobs in steel and textile mills went overseas.