So, as I mentioned yesterday, we had our most recent Leadership Ann Arbor day on Wednesday. This one was all about education. Due to the snow up here, we missed out on the K-12 presentations (though we will supposedly be making it up at some point), instead we focused on higher ed and pre-K information.
All of the presentations were quite informative. Unfortunately, most of the information was pretty depressing. Still, I would rather know where we stand. Here are just a few of the points we covered:
- In Washtenaw County about 48% of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 have at least a bachelors degree. That compares to 22% for all of Michigan.
- According to census data, lowering taxes does not lead to more prosperity. In fact, those states with the lowest taxes also have some of the lowest personal income per capita.
- According to a report presented by Michigan Future, Inc.'s President, Lou Glazer, prosperous regions tend to have three characteristics in common:
- Focus on knowledge/export-based sectors. Where growth in these areas exceeds the national average (29%), prosperity follows. Michigan currently has growth in these areas of around 13%.
- High proportion of four-year degree holders.
- Anchored by a central city with an even higher percentage of four-year degree holders.
- In the same report, the authors came to the conclusion that for Michigan to succeed, it must focus on two policy priorities:
- We must invest in the higher education system, especially our research universities.
- We must develop the welcoming aspects of our central metropolis (Detroit), in order to retain existing talent and attract new.
- These are the two areas which Michigan has cut the most in recent years.
So, what can we do to get talent to come back to Michigan?