The major issue for Detroit’s technology and talent is retaining and further attracting talent. A recent study on Detroit by Sumeet Ahluwalia, Rikki Bennie, Brett Henry and Graham Macdonald, sheds light on the issue of retaining talent in Detroit. A Brain Drain/Gain index was applied to Detroit, which displays whether an area loses its educated population after graduation, or gains educated individuals. Detroit was found to be in a brain drain situation as many issues such as living conditions are deterring well-educated people from staying in Detroit. This is not due to a lack of schools or students as Detroit has a high college, graduate and professional student population. Retaining talent has become an issue and certain companies in Detroit are finding that the number of qualified students graduating into the region is not keeping up with the open opportunities, according to a 2011 Bloomberg report. Here lies one of Detroit’s biggest challenges, which is providing better quality of place for residents.
Emphasis added. Well-educated people are leaving high quality places all over the country in large numbers. Detroit needs to attract residents, not retain them. The advice offered is bad, counterproductive. It will undermine economic development.
The best places have the highest rates of outmigration. They are economically vital. The churn lends itself to diversity, tolerance, and innovation. Successful retention will inform the exact opposite. People develop, not places.