Why stay in Michigan again?

Michigan in the winter.

It has let me have time to put things in perspective.

Slower and colder, it has me looking at clothes, not for fashion, but as insulation against the cold.

The skies are gray here.

Our lake, the BIG BLUE, makes our life cloudy and dreary.

There are many strategies to try and survive here.

Many require some affinity to the outdoors and winter recreation.

I was listening to the State of Michigan report. the other day.

How the folks in Lansing want to keep jobs and young graduates here in the state.

It got me thinking about the number of young people I know that have left the state without a backward glance.. Many blaming the weather as the main deterrant to staying.


When my daughters moved to Denver, they went for the climate and the lure of innovative jobs. I laughed thinking they would be back. It is harsh out there in the winter. But the joke was on me. Not only did they have less snow in Denver, but skies were blue almost every day and the temperatures moderate. My MSU daughter just started a new job with an UM CEO. Both are in an exciting innovative company that is on the grow.

If you were brainstorming your life at 24, what would you envision?

If you could live anywhere on Earth without limit, what would you choose?

What keeps people in Michigan anyway?

For many, it is family. Home is where the heart is.

The conundrum for business planners and State government is how to keep the graduates and skilled trades workers here.

To me, it seems like the worker, as a human being, needs to be examined.

Incentives need to be directed not just for the businesses but to what the businesses can offer employees, here in Michigan. It seems logical that when you can attract and grow a desirable work community, both inside and out, you will likely keep the young people in place. They grow roots and after a few years their goals change from tentative to permanent.

I am no expert. But from an observer who is trying to assist young people with forward thinking goals, I am wondering about how business and government incentives work now.

Do they:

-Make it possible for small communities to be given incentives to attract industry, with the hook of a good wage, in a growing community?

· Inject dying communities with an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to buy storefronts or abandoned buildings at a low price?

· Give incentives like “rolling personal time off” so that young people aren’t relegated to take vacations in the summer and allow for more time to refresh and renew in all seasons?

· Offer benefits packages worth staying for? When pension plans dry up and young people are asked to fund their own retirement, do they offer them a financial planner who can guide and stay with them in looking to the future?

· Warm up the climate of the workplace. Allow for the pride and feeling of “belonging” to something. Give PD in the form Lunch and Learn sessions?

-Care about health and wellness, maybe giving the benefit of health club memberships and wellness contests?

-Are there perks that make it fun to go to work? With frequent opportunities for validation of jobs well done?

We need a fresh face put on Michigan in winter..

We all know it is the place most coveted in every other season.

Figuring out how to adjust our business climate to the climate of Mother Nature is my suggestion to closing the exit door to our young adults.

Thanks for listening.

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