Sunday, July 08, 2007

Actively Exporting Local Talent

In many parts of South Florida, you will feel as if you have left the United States. Miami's orientation towards Central and South America along with the Caribbean is not news. What is surprising is the regional effort to export talent overseas:

The presence of expatriates in Miami-Dade County is well documented and visible. Foreign consulates arrive at cultural functions in chauffeured Lincolns and wealthy foreigners who head the Latin America divisions of multinational corporations are seen hitting South Beach hot spots in Bentleys and Benzes. But, the other side of the coin - local executives who travel overseas to help companies launch initiatives, open new offices and start new projects - is far less visible.

Encouraging local talent to expatriate isn't quite "brain drain." The region is loaning its human capital in order to help local firms exploit new market opportunities. Given the multi-national (transnational) demography, South Florida is stocked with executives equal to the task.

The passive export of talent from Pittsburgh is decades old. The inadequate policy response was and is to trap the human capital in the area. Local universities are producing highly desirable workers and Pittsburgh-based enterprise gets first crack at them. There isn't enough demand or opportunity to employ most of the graduates in the region. Businesses headquartered in Pittsburgh would have a competitive advantage for attracting homegrown expertise. Said enterprise could then actively export this talent where there is a great demand for their services.

I would further suggest that local venture capital could follow this talent wherever it needs to go to find the best entrepreneurial opportunity.

No comments: