The Smartest Americans Are Heading West

Three cities in Colorado – a state whose fortunes were linked to the boom in oil, gas and other commodities – are among the top ten destinations for the country’s best and brightest. data compiled by Bloomberg. Another city in Colorado is planning a 21st century revival.

Boulder, a small university town north of the capital of Colorado, ranks # 1 nationally in the Bloomberg brain concentration index following entrepreneurship training, as well as employment and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fort Collins and Denver, respectively, follow the numbers 4 and 10.

The website of the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance, which announced the increase in the Fort Collins metropolitan area, says the area is “cheesy and proud” of leading universities that produce “a strong workforce composed of highly qualified young people “. It is estimated that 35% of the population holds a bachelor’s degree or more, according to the alliance.

However, prosperity is not at the state level. Grand Junction is ranked # 16 nationally among cities where white collar jobs are declining and wages for jobs in science, technology and engineering have declined, according to the Index drainage Bloomberg brain index. The city is located on the western slope of Colorado, a region dependent on oil, gas, and agriculture.

“Economic recovery on the west coast has been much slower,” said Cilia Kohn, director of marketing for the Grand Junction Economic Association. The Rural Recovery Tax Credit Program, which provides a tax holiday for technology companies, was created by officials in the Grand Junction area and is expected to create 600 jobs in the sector. the city and the surrounding communities, “said Mr. Kohn.

Colorado Clean, which develops bioplastics, and Adaptive Towers, which manufactures rapidly deployed communications towers, Kohn said. She also plans to open a couple of business centers for the outdoor recreation industry. “The brain drain is what we had when the oil and gas companies closed down and people left,” Kohn said. “Now they return.”

Disparity throughout the state is not exclusive to Colorado. Muskegon, Michigan, a City of Drafting Once lively dominates the Brain Drain Index, while the state is also home to one of the most educated work forces in the country, just 2.5 hours drive from Ann Arbor . The city, which ranks 12th in the Brain Concentration Index, is home to the University of Michigan and has an unemployment rate of just 3.9 percent.

Cities facing an exodus of workers can slow the flow through creative policies, such as the Grand Junction tax credit program. Cindy Larsen, chairwoman of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, said authorities had attempted to curb the loss of her city by granting two years of free tuition to local high school students with weighted averages of 3.5 and above.

“A few years ago, it was a concern,” Larsen said. But today, because of these new programs, we are beginning to see the recovery, and we hope the data will reflect soon. “In August, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced that KL Outdoor / GSC-Future Beach, the world’s largest kayak manufacturer, will move its headquarters to Muskegon center and generate 153 jobs in three years.

Rich cities in technology and higher education, including San Francisco (2), Washington (5), Raleigh (6) and Seattle (9), fill the top 10 concentration index in the brain. The smallest cities are at the head of the Brain Drain Index: Goldsboro, North Carolina (4) and Huntington, West Virginia (8), but also Springfield (6), capital of Illinois.

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