Victorville has seen better times, and with their hopes pinned to a mothballed air base, they are looking forward to brighter days.

Two decades ago, the city was supported by George Air Force Base. At the time, the base provided hundreds of jobs. But since it’s closed, the economy has grown and crashed, leaving the city with an unemployment rate surpassing 16%.

However, the airbase is not silent any more. The recent merger of United and Continental Airlines provided a huge boon, as more than 650 air craft arrived to be repainted at one of the massive hangars. An airplane maintenance company is hoping to bring as many as 3,000 jobs to the runways.

Along with the community and community colleges, Victorville residents are being retrained for new jobs in the aviation industry.

From the Associated Press:

The billboard outside the Arbor Lane subdivision offers a hollow promise of elegant homes at rock-bottom prices.

A drive down the flag-lined entrance reveals the truth: Empty lots filled with weeds swallow up the several dozen completed houses. Winding cul-de-sacs lined with extinguished street lamps dead-end in piles of dirt and dried grass. Nothing resembles an arbor.

Four years after the housing bubble burst, this once-booming desert city far northeast of Los Angeles is nursing an economic hangover that won’t quit: one of 67 homes is in some stage of foreclosure, unemployment is nearly 17 percent and the busiest place in the threadbare historic downtown is a thrift store attached to a food bank.

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