I’ve been reading a lot about the “brain drain” in Metro Detroit and the state of Michigan.
I want to help out.
Our children are leaving the area in record numbers, leaving behind a shortage of talented young people to fill out corporate rosters. I’ve been trying to help that in a small way by trying to convince my 23-year-old daughter Celine to return to Detroit to help fill the brain drain.
She is filled with options outside our state, from continuing her education at Harvard, to screen writing in Hollywood or remaining in Chicago where she got her first job out of Stanford. Detroit does not seem appealing right now, but this is where dad must work his magic.
Celine does not believe I am trying to fill the brain drain. She’s believes this is an elaborate scheme to get her to live at home again. Trust me, it’s not although she always has a place to rest her head if she gets into a jam.
I don’t know exactly what the girl does, but I do know she is extremely bright, creative and is a very good writer and producer. She finished Stanford with a 3.8 grade point average and was class president for four years.
Come home Celine. Fill Detroit’s brain drain and have lunch with dad once a week.
During my nightly walks I talk to people along the way. There are at least seven sets of daughters in our neighborhood living in Chicago alone. Who knows where other children are living.
Detroit once sported a population of 1.85 residence. Now it sits at 620,000. Our region dropped from a top 10 market to a top 15 market in terms of population.
Detroit is not sexy. It gets cold in the winter and we have pot holes the size of the Grand Canyon. But its home and it needed help in attracting business and feeding home grown business with new talent.
“For people who are fortunate to have a lot of employment opportunities that are highly desirable in the market, there are better job opportunities elsewhere,” Brad Hershbein, deputy director of research at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo told The Detroit News. “Those people would find an easier time getting a job, or a better job, outside the state than inside it.”
About 60 percent of students who graduate from the University of Michigan, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech move out of the state after graduation. Kids are after jobs in tech, engineering, business and other high paying jobs.
Local businesses report that they do not have enough highly educated young people to fill key positions.
Once again I don’t know exactly what Celine does, but she seems like the kind of kid that could create a new flavor for Faygo. Or write long features for the Detroit News or Free Press. Or work in a law firm or public relations firm.
I do know she took law classes and won a litigation contest through the Crump Law School. One girl from Maryland had not lost a competition in four years and was very upset to finish second to Celine. She cried. Celine hugged her and told her she did a great job.
When she ran for class president she was endorsed by the Young Democrats and the Young Republicans. She might be the only person in the country to pull that off the last decade in this divided country.
If Celine returns to Michigan I promise not to lure her back in the house. She loves her independence. I’m kind of digging being an empty nester.
I will help her find an apartment. I will help her move in. I will even buy the girl a new set of dishes. Or golf clubs or shoes. Whatever she wants.
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press