Sunday, September 02, 2007

Global Connect Pittsburgh Vision

The forward-thinking of East Coast Connected (ECC) continues to impress me. I would love to know how ECC convinced Atlantic Canada stakeholders to promote out-migration from the region:

"We're very excited to be kicking off our mentorship program by working with Dalhousie" said Kevin McSweeney, Director of University Relations for East Coast Connected.

"This is the first step in a larger mentorship program that will eventually provide mentorship opportunities to students attending universities across Atlantic Canada" said McSweeney.

JoAnne Akerboom, Director with Dalhousie Management Career Services also sees benefits to the program. "Dalhousie students can get a leg up by having a mentorship program in place with an Atlantic Canadian already living in Toronto before moving there themselves. This program may also assist our graduates with awareness of the opportunities to return to Atlantic Canada down the road."

The "first step" isn't radical. I recall a New England consortium of colleges and universities that provided a number of opportunities for this Vermont high school graduate, including in-state tuition throughout the entire region. The final step of increasing the number of boomerang migrants, thereby reducing brain drain, is a significant evolution in policy from the Border Guard Bob approach currently holding sway in Pittsburgh.

The piece of intrigue is the facilitation of relocation of intellectual capital from Halifax to Toronto. Imagine yours truly making a similar pitch to CMU and Pitt. Well, that's the gist of my proposal to deal with Pittsburgh's geographic labor mobility problem.

What ECC has done is allow Atlantic Canada to stake a claim to Toronto. I'm certain that Pittsburgh could do the same with regards to Washington, DC. That's an established migration pattern with some significant return flow of talent. Sticking with my regional discussion, New York City is already a big part of most Pittsburghers' mental maps. That, overt connectivity to the Megalopolis region, would comprise ECC Pittsburgh.

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