More young people are staying in Michigan after graduating from college, with job opportunities driving the brain gain, according to a preliminary survey released Thursday at the Mackinac Policy Conference. The study, released by the Detroit Regional Chamber, showed that 63 percent of recent college graduates are remaining in the state, up from 51 percent in 2007. Jobs were the main reason, the study showed. Those who leave generally land higher-paying positions outside Michigan, or are searching for a vibrant urban environment such as Chicago, a top destination for Michigan graduates. "Talent retention is a key driver of economic vitality," said Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development for the chamber. "States that continue to lose their talented graduates will fall behind in the global economy." The survey included students younger than 28 who had graduated in May 2012 and were no longer in school. It was conducted with funding from the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which is trying to lure Michigan natives living elsewhere back to the state. Among those staying in Michigan is Philip Lewis, 22, who graduated with a sociology degree from Michigan State University this month. Lewis will be teaching in Detroit Public Schools with Teach for America, a nonprofit that enlists college graduates and professionals to teach in urban and rural schools for two years. A native Detroiter, Lewis said he wanted to stay in Michigan. "I needed to be here to help the youth," said Lewis. "It was my responsibility as a Detroiter to help however I can, and education is probably the best place to start." Some out-of-state students also plan to stay in the Great Lakes State after graduation. Kayla Thompson, 22, is from a suburb south of Chicago. She graduated this month from Western Michigan University with a business degree and landed a job at ad agency Campbell Ewald. "There were a lot more opportunities here than in Chicago," said Thompson. "I definitely want to move to Detroit. It's just more alive down there." The survey comes as more business and political leaders clamor for Michigan to invest more in higher education. "It's no great surprise that when the economy comes back, we are keeping more kids in Michigan," said Doug Rothwell, CEO and president of Business Leaders for Michigan, an organization of top leaders from large companies and universities. Source: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130531/SCHOOLS/305310326/1409/metro/Jobs-convince-state-s-college-students-stay-Michigan-after-graduation
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