Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cosmopolitan Cleveburgh

I received another e-mail full of stories about foreign born talent from Richard Herman. I'll attempt to weave together the articles for Cleveburgh policy purposes. The journey starts in Ohio, a state surprisingly rich in high-skilled immigrants:

Ohio did rank fourth in the country in the immigration of highly skilled foreign workers. Atkinson said the study [I added the link to the study] cites that number because educated immigrants form high-growth companies at a faster rate than their American counterparts.

Ohio's research universities help attract these people, who in turn help the economy, Griffin said.

"Someone that has left their home country to come to the U.S. tends to be the entrepreneur," Griffin said. "They tend to be the risk taker, and they are who will start up companies."

Richard highlighted that passage in his message. Of all the talent initiatives on the table, attracting and better retaining "highly skilled foreign workers" should be a priority from the standpoint of job creation. At risk of stirring up an old debate, I'd recommend chasing foreign born entrepreneurs with strong startup executive experience.

Regardless, the lack of immigration to Cleveburgh is well known. Thus, the lack of a robust startup culture should surprise no one since immigrants are much more likely to be entrepreneurs. The good news is that talent from other countries continues to seek out American universities. Cleveburgh has the educational infrastructure to accommodate them.

The vision is for a cosmopolitan Cleveburgh. The IndUS Entrepreneurs now have an organizational presence in both Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The next step is a collaborative effort to grow the Tech Belt corridor's global connectivity. 2009 is the year for all Cleveburgh boosters and stakeholders to buy in and work to increase immigration to our region.

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