ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Why is Michigan losing talented university graduates? During a speech at University of Michigan’s A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute on Friday, Gov. Rick Snyder pointed to a lack of jobs.
Snyder said the state is losing far too many young people because we just don’t have jobs, a factor he said that ties into the tax and budget environments. Another key to retaining our younger citizens, according to the governor, is what he calls “quality of place.”
“That’s one of the reasons you’ll hear me say over and over again, it’s absolutely critical for Detroit to be on the path to being a great city again because many of our young people are looking for that urban environment,” said Snyder.
“And there are good things going on in Detroit. There’s good enough going on today that I like to ask young people, and you may appreciate this, ‘Do you want to be another yuppie in Chicago or do you want to make a difference in Detroit?'” Snyder continued.
Gov. Snyder champions immigration as a way to help Michigan’s talent pool to grow.
“So, I would say we’ve created the global Michigan initiative already. And one of the central tenants of that is to encourage legal immigration, particularly advanced degree people coming to our country,” he said.
To anyone who doubts that immigrants really create jobs in Michigan, the governor offers two names: Dow and Meijer. Both were started by immigrants but are now household names in Michigan.
The governor believes mentorship is another key to creating an environment to keep young people here, saying that is what kept him in Michigan. He also directed attention to efforts now underway to expand business incubator programs.
“We’re actually looking at how to take Ann Arbor Spark, Automation Alley and Tech Town. There’s probably five or six locations in our state that have been doing some very good work in start-ups and entrepreneurship and connecting people, and we’re now connecting them so they’re working better together. And, we’re going to scale them up across the state and really create a network,” Snyder said.
The Governor reminded would-be entrepreneurs to look beyond the boundaries they’ve set for themselves, learn to manage risk, be proactive and look for partners who complement their skills.