Friday, March 16, 2012

Fresno Return Migration

Like Cleveland, Fresno has a boomerang migration project. Getting those who left to move back home is not a new idea. How do you accomplish that goal? Creative Fresno's plan:

The goal of the Boomerang Project is to reverse brain drain in Fresno. With that said, we understand that neither the Boomerang Project nor any other one thing is going to accomplish this goal. So, we set out to achieve measurable success: We want to bring back 10 of the most spectacular Boomerangs that we can find in 2012. To do so we’ve collected dozens of high-level, career-advancing jobs, stretching across all industry boundaries, that we can offer to qualified Boomerang candidates. Key here is that we have dozens of jobs to offer, but are only after 10 Boomerangs; this means that we’re able to really focus on going after the right person instead of filling a position. Then, the process for recruiting potential Boomerangs really is very simple. We’re calling on the community to connect us with the potential Boomerang in their life. We want folks to send us that crazy-smart, super-talented person in their life who has moved away, but who is thinking about settling down, wishes they lived closer to mom and dad, yearns for a higher overall quality of life, or misses Fresno. We suspect that many of these people want to move back to Fresno, but believe that there isn’t a job big enough for them in this town. We also think that we can prove them wrong. People can send us Boomerangs at or Once we receive information about a potential Boomerang we review the candidate to see if they’re the right fit for the project (i.e., the best and the brightest). We then work with the person who referred them to leverage that relationship to begin the recruitment process. Thereafter we connect directly with the potential Boomerang and begin the formal recruitment process, which includes the prospective employer, local celebrities, and our Boomerang Project Team. Best of all, we aren’t finished with the Boomerangs once we land them a dream job. After that we throw them a welcome party, provide them with memberships to local community organizations, and show them around town. We want our Boomerangs to fall in love with Fresno all over again.

Emphasis added. This part of the attraction strategy is clever. Creative Fresno is leveraging established networks to catalyze return migration. I used the same [chain migration] concept to craft part of Global Cleveland's boomerang migration strategy.

What comes after the fanfare? I've stumbled across this kind of public relations campaign before. The buzz is ephemeral. The overall migration pattern remain unaltered. If your community is thinking about doing a similar project, then make sure you think through the subsequent steps and how you will measure that success.

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