I agree that attracting the boomerangs alone is not enough.
But I see no harm in trying to get some of the folks who really want to live in your city to come back. And if you can get some of those folks to invest in starting new businesses, there is a great chance that they will be able to find ways to attract others from outside the community to work for them.
It's also a lot easier to attract a Web audience of people connected to a community than to try to build a web site about Erie that is marketed to those who have no connection to the community.
If we can get those who lived in Erie to talk about what they're learning in their new homes -- and maybe share ideas with the hometown folks -- there is a real opportunity to circulate some new ideas into the community and create some change.
I don't think I have the whole solution. But I think I'm creating the kind of conditions where enough people can come up with enough ideas to push the needle a bit.
See my own comments on Mr. Panepento's response below.