Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Update: Cleveburgh Talent

My inbox is full of information from Richard Herman and I'm just getting around to blogging about it. I'll start with comments from the chief of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank:

Richard Fisher told the Greater Houston Partnership luncheon crowd that 55 percent of engineering master's degrees and 75 percent of doctorates awarded by major Texas universities go to foreign students. Those lucky enough to get an H-1B visa then have to wait 10 years to get a green card, while Australia and the European Union are taking steps to open their borders to skilled foreign workers.

"So where do you think these wonderful students that we have educated in universities subsidized by taxpayer money and private endowments are going to go?" he asked.

Fisher, himself a child of immigrants, likened the situation to a company spending money to drill exploratory wells and then when they're proven, giving away all the oil and gas.

Mr. Herman suggests that the State of Ohio is beginning to understand the shortsightedness detailed above and that more progressive policies may be forthcoming. Weaving in an article I found thanks to Brewed Fresh Daily, some Ohio business leaders already appreciate the value of immigrants:

One prominent business leader applauded the new strategies for core cities, but believes increasing Ohio's population should be paramount.

Albert Ratner, co-chairman of Forest City Enterprises Inc., said Ohio should do whatever it can to draw new blood, whether it's from Indiana or India.

"I'll take every illegal immigrant I can get," Ratner said.

I bet the comment raised a few eyebrows, but immigration is key to Ohio's future. The EB-5 program is moving forward in Wooster. I guess Cleveland proper didn't bite. I'm not surprised that one of the secondary cities in Cleveland's urban hinterland boldly embraced the opportunity. Kudos to the Wooster Growth Corporation. You can read more about Wooster's efforts here and here.

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