Detroit, Bankrupt, Looks to Colleges as Partners in Recovery

Detroit, Bankrupt, Looks to Colleges as Partners in Recovery 1

Fabrizio Costantini for The Chronicle

Stan Urban (in white shirt), who teaches in the Comprehensive Automotive Training program at Macomb Community College, explains a component of electric vehicles, a technology with job prospects.

A red beam of light hits the wall of an engineering auditorium at Wayne State University. Standing some 30 feet away, Dan Kinkead holds a laser pointer.

"If I move my hand 1/100th of an inch," he tells a group of economic-development professionals in the university's Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program, "the beam will play out three feet across that wall." 

The dancing spot of light represents Detroit circa 2043, and Mr. Kinkead, executive director of the