Young Talent Leaving Michigan


A couple of interesting articles about young talent leaving Michigan. Both worth reading. The first from the Spinal Column covering west Oakland County. I’m interviewed, but what is most interesting is the insights of recent college grads on why they stayed or didn’t.  Both jobs/careers and place sure seem to matter. The endless debate we have on which matters more probably is a waste of time. Both matter.

The second is really interesting. It is from Concentrate Media which covers Ann Arbor online. The article is written by Kate Rose who has been a regular contributor singing the praises of Ann Arbor and Michigan as a great place to live and work. But now she has moved to California and she writes about why. It is quite insightful on what Ann Arbor has to offer and what it is lacking. Her agenda for Ann Arbor:

1. Job diversification. I didn’t want to “dump” Michigan. It had so many qualities that I was looking for in a homebase — save one. Selfishly, that turned out to be my career growth. As Gen Y’ers figure out their next career moves, we need to encourage a range of businesses with an enticing array of jobs. Easier said than done, but if this is a wish list, economic livelihood tops it.

2. A dynamic downtown. We lack discovery of new places, and I don’t think the fact that Ann Arbor’s a small town is an excuse. Give us something to explore and keep the chains out. Create more opportunities for innovative and surprising businesses, organizations, events, and entertainment to take root. If Ypsi can hold a puppet-hosted mayoral debate, surely A2 can too.

3. Knock off the “Us vs. Them” development wars. Before I left, I participated in a few meetings where young people discussed development issues coming before council. The tone was hopeful, but felt combative. The general sentiment was that older residents liked how things were, just as they are, and had the time and resources to fight like hell to keep it that way. We need to open the discussion — that’s right, “discussion’, not “argument’. A stronger acknowledgment from city government that young professionals’ interests are being considered would be a welcome start.

Good advice. Jobs and place. Both matter.

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Lou Glazer

About Lou Glazer

Lou Glazer is President and co-founder of Michigan Future, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Michigan Future’s mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations.