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arcturus

Region ranks low in income, education

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"The region fell to 51st out of 54 metro areas when it comes to average per-capita income for 2007, down from 49th in 2005. The new study, Michigan's Transition To A Knowledge-Based Economy, links that to this fact: Just one in four people older than 25 in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area has a college degree, ranking 44th out of those 54 metros."

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/kent_...s_education_key

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"The region fell to 51st out of 54 metro areas when it comes to average per-capita income for 2007, down from 49th in 2005. The new study, Michigan's Transition To A Knowledge-Based Economy, links that to this fact: Just one in four people older than 25 in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area has a college degree, ranking 44th out of those 54 metros."

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/kent_...s_education_key

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Coming from a larger metro area the lower income/lower education populace here was readily apparent to me. Maybe it's just symptomatic of the urban - rural divide we see nationwide. As the comments allude there's an ingrained cultural bias.

Oddly, wasn't there was a recent report from GVSU that said the majority of graduates stay in the region? All in all the report surprised me considering the proportion of college students in the area. Clearly upon graduation they don't stick around, forced to pursue career opportunities elsewhere.

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This doesn't surprise me. Most grads I know leave when they get the chance. I am in the process of hiring musicians from MSU for my wedding and two of them (that I was c ounting on) ended up canceling because they both got jobs out of state and won't be here when I need them. A lot of the grads I know that decide to go on for masters almost always go out of state. Grand Rapids just isn't big enough to have everything people want. It will improve but its going to be slow going for quite a while I feel like. I don't mean to be a downer, I love learning as much as I can about new development. We just have to keep doing what we can with the people who (can afford to, want to, etc) stick around.

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Here is a link to the study: http://www.michiganfuture.org/Reports/prog...report%2009.pdf

One thing you have to consider is that all the metro regions in this study are over 1 million people. We are on the small end of this scale. I would like to see how we would fare if cost of living were factored in. Certainly this is much higher in many of the larger metropolitan areas, so the wages are going to be somewhat higher to compete with that. I wonder how far we could move up and how much the gap would shrink?

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Ted said:

"The cost of living issue is really beside the point, and I've found, mainly used as an excuse to hold down wages and investment."

Boy, isn't that the truth! Employers here are the most mean, miserly...and seemingly proud of it. Due to the Current Economic Situation

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"The region fell to 51st out of 54 metro areas when it comes to average per-capita income for 2007, down from 49th in 2005. The new study, Michigan's Transition To A Knowledge-Based Economy, links that to this fact: Just one in four people older than 25 in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area has a college degree, ranking 44th out of those 54 metros."

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/kent_...s_education_key

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One of the reasons for the low number of college degrees and this recent decline in per capita income is our manufacturing sector. When you graduate high school, many people determined whether or not they should go to college or not. For the ones who dont go to college, the reason was often because they could get a fairly decent income without going to college just by working in a factory line. This is probably one of the top reasons for not going to college.

Recently the decrease in per capita income is also due to our manufacturing sector which hasnt been doing to hot lately and increasing our unemployment rate.

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The cost of living issue is really beside the point, and I've found, mainly used as an excuse to hold down wages and investment. And, if we want to be the kind of city that we all want to be, we can't hold up the 'we're smaller' or 'we're more affordable' signs as viable sales pitches or 'yes, but' excuses to world wide talent or investment of any type. In my opinion, it reinforces the perception (real or not) of GR as minor league and/or secondary market.

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This doesn't surprise me. Most grads I know leave when they get the chance. I am in the process of hiring musicians from MSU for my wedding and two of them (that I was counting on) ended up canceling because they both got jobs out of state and won't be here when I need them. ... We just have to keep doing what we can with the people who (can afford to, want to, etc) stick around.

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One of the reasons for the low number of college degrees and this recent decline in per capita income is our manufacturing sector. When you graduate high school, many people determined whether or not they should go to college or not. For the ones who dont go to college, the reason was often because they could get a fairly decent income without going to college just by working in a factory line. This is probably one of the top reasons for not going to college.

Recently the decrease in per capita income is also due to our manufacturing sector which hasnt been doing to hot lately and increasing our unemployment rate.

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That's not the issue. The issue is that there is a cultural disrespect for education in this region. Parents, historically in this region (brash generalization to follow), have not valued education enough to push their children on to college and beyond.

The debate as to why this prejudice exists is a different thread on a very different web site.

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Perhaps this would be a good debate for the WoodTV discussion forums? :whistling::whistling:

Moving here from out of state, I do sense this a bit. I grew up in Omaha, NE, in a small house in a lower-middle to middle class neighborhood, but my mom still had a college degree, my dad had attended college even though he grew up on a farm, and it was always expected I would go to college.

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