One way to hang onto the college students is to show them the great assets of Northeast Ohio and engage them in the life and vibrancy of our region. That is the idea behind the latest piece of the Cleveland Plus marketing campaign. The Plus College web site connects college students with arts, recreational, job and other opportunities in the region. Check out the possibilities at PlusCollege.com
Trying to keep young adults from relocating is a bad idea. A more worthwhile campaign would target nearby talent pools, such as the one in Pittsburgh. Burgh twentysomethings have little to no clue as to the opportunities in Youngstown or other parts of NEO. Tech Belt champion Jason Altimire made his first ever trip to Cleveland in January of 2009 in order to speak to the City Club about the initiative. The audience was somewhat amazed by his confession.
Graduates know more about the scenes in Seattle, Los Angeles, or Austin than they do about nightlife in neighboring Rust Belt cities. This mega-regional churn is highly undervalued. We need to rethink our labor market orientation and retool our workforce development strategies. A sharp looking website touting the cultural assets of the region to its student population does neither.