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Monday, June 29, 2009

Retaining Talent

This story in the Cincinnati Business Courier troubled me greatly. The article said that the majority of current college students in the state of Ohio plan on leaving Ohio once they graduate. Though no Cincinnati area schools were included, the numbers here may be similar.

I grew up in, well, not in Ohio, and came to Cincinnati because that's where Xavier is. The school drew me to the region; Cincinnati didn't draw me to X. I chose to stay here after graduation for a lot of reasons: UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning for grad school; good prospects for finding a job post-graduation; the low cost of living; the arts here; even Skyline. Actually, I typed "even Skyline" sorta tongue-in-cheek, but I recently left the area for about 4 months, and had regular Skyline cravings. Plus, the Indian food here is unreal.

What really kept me here was how much the area has to offer vs. the low cost of living.

If the city wants to continue to flourish (and it is flourishing - go downtown if you haven’t been in a while), we need to ensure that the young talent we draw here with our colleges and universities stay here. They will be the ones who will continue to grow our economy.

You tell me: how can we brand the city as a desirable place for potential new residents? What amenities are here for the young and mobile? What do we need here that isn’t here yet?


VisuaLingual said...

My thinking may not be the norm, but I don't think that your typical "city branding" is all that effective. The city should focus on the various kinds of infrastructure that make Cincinnati a desirable place for young people -- professional opportunities, small business development, public transit, strong cultural offerings, etc. et al. The meat and potatoes, if you will.

If the substance is there, the message gets out, in the words of the people who are living a self-satisfied, meaningful existence here. This message needs to come from the bottom, not from the top.

The city's own efforts at branding itself as a desirable location seem desperate and insincere to me. Granted, I'm trained to see that and, again, may not represent the norm.

Randy Simes said...

I think we need to build a community that boasts the features and amenities that the talented professionals desire.

Cincinnati is currently very affordable and has lots of amenities for the price involved. You could live in a downtown loft for a reasonable price and walk to work. The problem is that many of our great neighborhoods are disconnected. A streetcar and/or light rail system would do wonders and allow people to live, work and play in their neighborhood and others throughout the city...just imagine living Downtown and taking the train to Mt. Lookout on Saturday night, or living in Hyde Park and taking the train to the Uptown area for work or play. The variations are endless.

We need transportation alternatives to the automobile. Zipcars, rail transit, real-time arrival for bus transit and direct routes would allow for a better situation. In terms of entertainment, the arts, housing stock, jobs and parks I think Cincinnati fares very well.

Travis Estell said...

We already have many of the essentials that make our city a great place to live. We've got plenty of arts venues, sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, unique traditions, great restaurants, beautiful neighborhoods and hillsides, and really something for everyone.

For me, I'm most concerned about Cincinnati creating a dense, walkable, complete urban neighborhood that appeals to creative-type college graduates. I think our older generations completely underestimate how many younger people are seeking this type of lifestyle and are currently forced to move to a Chicago or New York type of city to find it. With a neighborhood like OTR, we have the potential to create this type of development in a way that doesn't feel artificial (like some modern urban developments do) while preserving and stabilizing the history of the existing neighborhood. It's a double win. Preserve our history and keep more creative grads in the region.

N_O_R_T_O_N said...

I hate to be an asshole, but aren't you posting from ATL?! Hah pretty ironic...

Randy Simes said...

The article was written by David Ben...I commented with my two cents on the matter.

Quimbob said...

Does the city do anything, like make a pitch to graduating classes, to get them to stay ?

David Ben said...

Norton: I wrote that, and I live in Clifton.

Quim: Not sure if they do at UC or not, but no, city officials didn't come speak with us at X. Probably wouldn't be a half bad idea, if they can do it before the job offers come from out of state. At X there is a very good mentoring program for students to meet business leaders. Some students recieve job offers here in the tri-state through that.

Adam said...

Public transportation!!!

I am probably biased coming from Chicago where I used the El to get everywhere, but that is one thing I really miss.

There also need to be more things open later in the day. I recently moved downtown and when I come home from work (up at GE in Evendale), it can be hard to find a place to have dinner that is open; then I compare it to what I saw when I had to be downtown during the day for work once. On Sundays, forget about it. Unfortunately, that's one of those chicken and egg deals, and I'm going to really miss Buddakan

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