Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Brain Drain Fighters

When I'm looking for some news to fuel this blog, a Google search using the query "brain drain" never fails to deliver. The dynamic geographic mobility of labor in the United States appears to be remaking state-centric patriotism. Hardcore Federalists should circle the wagons. The "young guns" of New Hampshire are trying to stop talent at the border:

Surveys done last year show most graduates leave in search of what they think are better jobs with higher salaries in other states. Many students yesterday said, in order to keep twentysomethings, colleges and business will have to work together to dispel the myth that New Hampshire has no jobs.

They suggested a single, clearinghouse-type website where employers could post job openings and internship offers. Increased coordination between university career centers and employers looking to hire would help, they said. And they agreed that traditional job fairs are outdated and intimidating.

New Hampshire also needs to work on its image, students said. There's a belief out there that the state is boring, a good place to raise a family but not to spend your 20s. In addition to promoting the state's natural resources, they suggested hyping something less glamorous: the low cost of living. That's what made [Colin VanDenBerghe,the Plymouth State University junior was set on moving to California,] change his mind, but it's not something most students think about.

If better publicity is the answer, then why not solicit human capital graduating from other states? I'm certain that there are plenty of twentysomethings who would appreciate what New Hampshire has to offer, but the state isn't on their mental map of destinations. I'll follow the current campaign to see if it enjoys some success, but the student policy recommendation is inherently flawed.

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