Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Reason to Retain College Graduates in Pittsburgh - $1.8 Billion Economic Infusion, Blogger Says

If Pittsburgh increased the number of college graduates living in the region by just one percent, the local economy would enjoy a $1.8 billion infusion thanks to higher salaries and increased spending power, not to mention a lower unemployment rate.

So says commentator and innovative urban real estate developer Eve Picker in her blog Utterly Opinionated. The research data comes from a group she's involved with called CEOs for Cities.

"If Pittsburgh focused on increasing the number of residents with four year college degrees by just 1 percent, we’d reap an annual dividend, the 'Talent Dividend,' of $1.8 billion dollars," she writes. "[That is] the equivalent to the payroll of a very, very large company. This is not an argument for education. This is an argument for economic development."

Picker, an Australian with an urban planning background who moved to Pittsburgh in the '90s, endorses continuing efforts to help connect jobseekers, both from inside and outside the region, with available jobs (some 20,000 of which can be found at the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance's www.imaginemynewjob.com website), retain graduates from the region's dozens of colleges and universities, lure back people who have left the region over the years, and find ways to help those who have dropped out get their college degrees.

It's people like Eve Picker with big visions that will help the Pittsburgh region continue to grow and innovate. That's GlobalPittsburgh's opinion.

Read Eve Picker's blog at www.utterly-opinionated.com.

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