Category Archives : Millennials


Minnesota: a high-tax, high-prosperity state

Many states, including Michigan, have embraced low taxes and small government as their strategy to try to grow their economies. Minnesota has long trod a different path, one that features high taxes and smart investments in areas such as transportation, cities and education. It also has the strongest economy in the Great Lakes region and […]

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Lou’s Alma College commencement speech

Lou delivered the commencement address to the 2014 graduates of Alma College. The speech focused on the job market the graduates are likely to face over the course of a forty year career. Making the case that the four year degree the graduates have earned is the most reliable path to a good paying career. […]

Photo Courtesy: Alma College

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Go to college II 2

At about the same time that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was saying “Go to college. I can’t be any clearer.”, the Grand Rapids Business Journal reported that Governor Snyder at an economic summit he hosted in Grand Rapids said: “Michigan education is “too often focused on a diploma or a degree,” he said, “and not […]


Stuck in the past

My biggest concern for the state and its regions––particularly metro Detroit–is that we have a vision of what we want the future to look like and a public policy agenda, from across the political spectrum, that are grounded in the past––which we can’t go back to–-rather than the future. So we end up not having […]


College educated Millennials winning

The Pew Research Center has just released a terrific new report entitled “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College”. If you care about understanding the reality of today’s economy for young adults this is a must read report. Using data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) it makes clear that in terms […]


Growing Ann Arbor 2

Had an opportunity to talk with the Ann Arbor City Council about the economic future of the city. (For an excellent summary of the session see this MLive article.) My remarks and the conversation was mainly about retaining and attracting college educated Millennials. But we also had a chance to discuss Ann Arbor being part […]


Mayor Heartwell

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell’s latest State of the City Address is terrific. Worth reading. It lays out an agenda for making Grand Rapids a place where people from across the planet want to live and work. Its an agenda that other Michigan cities should want to adopt as their own. And the state too. […]


Central cities winning

A central theme of our work is that the most prosperous places are big metros with a vibrant central city. Defined by a high proportion of adults with a four-year degree or more living in the central city. In many of the most prosperous regions the central city has a higher college attainment rate than […]


Lansing State Journal on our new report

The Lansing State Journal provides extensive coverage of our latest report in their Outlook section today. Worth checking out! Included are columns by me and Doug Stites, who just retired from his long-time position as CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works. And there is an editorial on what the findings in the report mean for the […]