The Michigan “brain drain” has been a hot topic the last few years. Here are a few numbers that make this issue hard to ignore, as reported by Michigan Future.
- In 2008, Michigan lost 1,500 students with four-year degrees to more promising opportunities elsewhere.
- As of November, 2010, Michigan is ranked 37th in per capita income by state. We are 19 percent below the national average.
- In 2009, The Detroit News reported that Michigan is among the last in the nation in the number of workers with four-year degrees, and in another closely related figure, per capita income. This has sparked conversation about the need for a more knowledge-driven economy in Michigan.
Following in the footsteps of the Kalamazoo Promise, in 2009, Community Choice Credit Union founded the Community Choice Foundation. It is a 501(c)(3) organization that charges Michigan’s best and brightest students to commit to a Michigan education and a Michigan career by providing them with substantial scholarships. In the last two years we have awarded 41 students with $5,000 each to attend a Michigan college or university.
What is unique about our scholarship is that it requires the recipients to state their intent to pursue their career in Michigan upon graduation. We are immensely proud of the students we support and it brings us great joy to award these scholarships, but there is a bigger purpose in mind. Like the Kalamazoo Promise that inspired us, we hope to inspire business owners and Michigan residents to do the same. Better yet, we hope they develop their own unique way to retain our best and brightest graduates.
For those who don’t have the means or resources to lead their own cause, The Community Choice Foundation accepts tax deductible donations and publicly recognizes the business partners that contribute to the cause. You can learn more about donating here: https://www.communitychoicecu.com/index.php/community-services/foundation
What ideas do you have to help our young graduates seek opportunities in Michigan?