Middletown and National Politics

I’ve found it both unsettling and a little bit amusing that some people have attempted to use Middletown as a national example of what is wrong in America and how their candidate can fix it.  For example:

“Hillbilly Elegy Recalls a Childhood Where Poverty Was the Family Tradition

Trump Seen as Saviour in Dying Ohio Town

Here’s the thing.  We have a LOT of work left to do, but those articles reflect Middletown through the recession and not its current state.

Ask Kyle Schwarber, Jalin Marshall and Kayla Harrison how Middletown has been for them and I think you’ll get a different viewpoint of the world.   We have three current sports stars dominating their respective sports, all from Middletown.

Beyond sports, however, there’s an underlying change in Middletown that I’m not sure people have seen and fully appreciated yet.

In last week’s Cincinnati Enquirer and other large market Ohio newspapers, there was an article describing the latest employment data for Ohio.  Unemployment statewide in  September rose slightly from 4.7% to 4.8%.  The report posted a loss of 1,700 jobs in durable goods manufacturing, 1,700 jobs in food services and 1,900 jobs in retail for the month.

While other parts of the state are losing jobs, Atrium Medical Center has over 300 open positions.  All of our local manufacturers are hiring, not shedding jobs.  While others are losing food service positions, Buffalo Wild Wings just opened with over 100 new staff members.  Aspen Dental also opened with new staff, and we are looking forward to the smaller retail spots between them being filled in the next few months.

Middletown is bucking the state trend.  We have hundreds of open positions, most paying a living wage.  If you need good paying work, come to Middletown. We are expanding, not contracting.

If you need education or training to take your career to the next level, come to Middletown.  Warren County Career Center, Butler Tech, Cincinnati State and Miami University Middletown are ready to take you to that next level with additional training and education.

As I said, we still have a lot of work left to do to bring the city back to full prosperity, but don’t you dare let the outside media tell you that we are a dying city.  They either haven’t bothered to come here to see for themselves or they don’t care because the truth doesn’t fit their message of despair.




3 thoughts on “Middletown and National Politics

  1. Mr. Adkins,

    I find it very positive for the City of Middletown that leaders such as you recognize that there is a lot of work left to do in order to improve our city. As you know, it’s a complicated situation, and I appreciate all your efforts, first as Director for Community Revitalization, and now as City Manager.

    The book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” by J.D. Vance is my nephew’s story about growing up in Middletown in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In his memoir, J.D. writes of his personal experience with issues such as poverty, addiction, family breakdown, and upward mobility. While Middletown is the backdrop for J.D.’s childhood, I do not think the book sheds so much negativity on the city as some others do. The book contains some 90,000 words, and very few are directed at Middletown.

    J.D. graduated from Middletown High School, enlisted in the Marine Corps and graduated from The Ohio State University, all building blocks to his success, as he earned his law degree from Yale Law School, and this year published his New York Times Bestseller. Instead of castigating J.D., I think that we should be celebrating his success, and asking ourselves how Middletown can produce more success stories like him. We should be focusing more on our city’s education system, and the many complex problems surrounding the addiction crisis in this and many other small cities like ours.

    While I understand that some in Middletown are very defensive about the focus of the media’s lens on our town, we all know the media’s desire for seizing on one issue and running with it. With the current election climate, none of us should be surprised!

    It’s my hope that we all realize that J.D. Vance, with his book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” is one of Middletown’s greatest success stories and allies, because I know that he shares the love of his hometown and wants to help Middletown regain its vitality.


  2. Did you actually read the entire book or are you quoting only what has been show online? JD was a classmate of mine and is one of Middletown’s success stories, that doesn’t involve athletics.
    Donald Trump is seen as hero for many in this town even if you don’t agree with it, the facts stand.
    I love the growth Middletown is making but don’t belittle one success story because it’s not as pretty as another.


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