Viewpoint: September 23, 2009 - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: September 23, 2009

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Some disturbing news came out this week. The Baton Rouge metro area is losing its best and brightest. New Census figures show between 2007 and 2008, we lost more than 2,000 people age 25 and over with bachelor's and graduate degrees.

Experts say it's a trend that shows college-educated people believe they have better opportunities elsewhere. We need to change that perception. Baton Rouge is outperforming the national economy and still, we are losing our best and brightest.

Perhaps it's because while we have an abundance of skilled labor jobs, we have a shortage of knowledge-based jobs. The city and state need to work together to aggressively attract the kinds of jobs that will keep brain power here.

With LSU and Southern in our own backyard, we have tremendous resources we would like to retain and ones that can play an integral part in growing our region. Steve Moret, state economic development chief, and the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce are working to bring technology-based jobs to our region.

Those plans should be put on the fast-track. We are grateful for the skilled labor positions that our region has to offer, but if we want to become a destination for job seekers with advanced degrees, our area leaders need to focus on creating opportunities that reverse this trend. Our future success may be riding on it.

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