Reporting Pat Sweeting
DETROIT (WWJ) – While cities across Michigan are scrambling to find ways to prevent the loss of local college graduates to other states, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is doing more to plug the “brain drain.”
WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting spoke with MEDC Program Manager Michelle Elder, who heads the “Live Work Detroit!” initiative.
“Live Work Detroit! is an effort to connect graduating students and recent grads to employers in Detroit who are hiring,” said Elder. “And also to show them the opportunities for living working and playing in Detroit.” Elder added that this initiative and others like it may help clear up some misconceptions about Detroit.
Phillip Laurie, a Rochester, MI., native, left to pursue jobs elsewhere after graduation. But he said he was drawn back to the state where his focus is now products and projects that promote a more positive and constructive image of Detroit.
Laurie is a young professional taking part in the Live Work Detroit! program.
“This country’s in the process of reinventing the American dream and Detroit is at ground zero to be the innovator,” he said. “For anybody who’s got a lick of adventure in their stride, that’s a huge, huge thing.”
What is it about the city of Detroit that’s attracting college graduates and young professionals?
Heidi Torgerson of Royal Oak, a junior at Wayne State University, said she sees an opportunity in Detroit to make a difference, something she doesn’t think is possible in larger cities like New York, Chicago or San Francisco.
“I like the job opportunity aspect …The nightlife is great,” said Torgerson.
“I really, really like the diversity in Detroit. You know, being a student at Wayne State, I think I already see that and like I said, growing up around here I already see that … so many different types of people from all walks of life and areas of the world,” she said.