When the people of a city lose moral, the city loses the people. When the moral of the people dies, the city dies with it.
Brain drain. You’ve heard of it, especially if you reside in the city of Toledo, Ohio.
It is the phenomenon of young people attending local high schools and colleges, acquiring their various degrees of education here, and taking that education and those degrees to larger cities to plant their proverbial roots. Sounds harmless, right? The unfortunate fact is that this occurrence is contributing to a variable strain on our economy, lifestyles and potential here in Toledo.
Many questions are being asked as to how we can began to rectify this situation. Proposals for jobs, a clearer focus on the art society in Toledo, the list, though short, exists. The biggest question seems to have no definitive answer; what can we do to rejuvenate the moral of our city?
Living in an area with a population of about 450,000, it is disconcerting to find that we don’t have more to offer the young and progressive minded that inevitably leave Toledo and outer lying areas for cities that have thriving economies and well established cultures which encourage artistic and open minded livelihood.
A few of our good people at city council have come to the obvious conclusion that the answer to this problem is simple…more jobs. My response, for lack of a better one…DUH. This is not only the most obvious conclusion, but not necessarily a feasible one. I mean, are we talking about more high end, college degree required career opportunities, or more chances for the young folks with Bachelors and PhDs to flip the best burger in town, thus allowing you to “have it your way”? It would be a difficult task to provide more employment to the brain-drainers, this being the era of downsizing and recession.
The lack of employment has everyone thinking that Toledo is a rather lackluster place to settle down. It wouldn’t happen to matter that we have a nationally accredited university in our midst (The University of Toledo), as well as two Fortune 500 companies (Owens Illinois and The Dana Corporation), which is much more than some cities our size can boast. Still, these companies offer a very limited amount of opportunity for the graduates of said university.
Suffice it to say that Toledo has one thing going more for itself than anything else…potential. Being placed in the middle of larger cities such as Detroit, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio is not a good enough answer for those people that are looking for prospective places to land. To understand what Toledo has to offer is to know the people.
Budding politicians, writers, musicians and artists of every kind reside in these here walls, and there is plenty of motivation and desire to make all of the right things happen.
The short-term effects of brain drain seem to have the community jaded as to what the final outcome will be.
If there were more of a common unity, perhaps we could all change the face of our city. Without this unity, we are most definitely fated to fail, and that impending doom is the biggest factor in our loss of moral, as well as being the largest ingredient in our unavoidable death.