Want to Reverse Ohio’s Brain Drain? – Give Us Jobs

Listen to the Story

I’ve never left central Ohio.

I grew up in Bexley, headed 35 minutes east to Granville for college and then returned to the 614 to begin my journalism career in 2008.

At Denison University, my horizons were greatly expanded, and I met people from all over the world. I enjoyed learning about different places and cultures and knew my experiences and education could take me anywhere I wanted to go. After graduation my friends left for places like Austria and Boston, while I returned home to Columbus.

Sometimes, I wish I would have ventured to one of those faraway places. I feel bad that I haven’t taken a “big adventure,” like my best friend from Denison did when she moved to Europe for a year to continue her research.

But then I think about it, and I really enjoy Columbus. There’s a lot to do here, and every time friends come to visit, they are astounded by the restaurants, shopping and entertainment choices this “cow town” has to offer.

And those are just the things on the surface. They don’t even know about the vibrant technology and “green” businesses that are popping up every day. In the last few years, Ohio legislators and organizations have been doing a better job of promoting the opportunities this city – and state – has to offer. Especially to young people like me.

Republicans propose offering a tax credit to college graduates who stay in the state as an incentive to keep them here and reduce the “brain-drain.”

While the budget crunch may dictate that this is not the best time to propose offering new tax credits, our leaders and legislators are at least on the right track.

During his campaign, Governor Kasich said keeping college graduates in the state means keeping jobs in the state. I agree with him completely, , which doesn’t happen often.

EasyColumbus, a partnership between 11 central Ohio colleges and a number of local businesses and organizations, is showing college students what Columbus has to offer before they graduate. Again, the hope is they stick around.. They also try to match students with internships as a way to introduce businesses to the talented young professionals in their backyards.

Changes in government policy and efforts of businesses and organizations to hold on to Ohio college graduates is what is going to keep Columbus a growing, vibrant city. The more jobs, , the more recreation, the more businesses to support a younger population. Of course, there are things that I wish our great city had. Train service would be nice. , But Columbus fits my needs pretty well.

Central Ohio has been my home my entire life. I’m glad it’s still my home. . But, ultimately, if it weren’t for being offered a job here, who knows where I would be right now.

Well, actually, I do know. Anywhere that would have given me a job.

Gail Martineau is an editor at CityScene Magazine.

Comments