My post on boosting the number of people going to college contained a laundry list of suggestions for combating brain drain. The topic is important enough to deserve much more attention. So here is the first of hopefully several posts with some additional specific action items for you as a small biz person.
Topic #1: Actively involve young people in the community before they go away to college.
Action Items for Small Biz:
- Get involved with career exploration. Participate in job shadowing and career days.
- Hire a local high school student as an intern. Invite them to return during summers while they are in college.
- Sponsor a scout troop or youth group. Allow them to meet at your business. Speak at a meeting, or just sit in. Stay with the group as they grow up in the program.
- Talk to young people. Tell them why you choose to live here. Explain why you want them to get an education and return.
- Ask kids for help with your business. Hold a design or naming contest for students. Ask what they would do if they were in charge. Get their opinions. Let them make suggestions. Kids have great imaginations!
- Take young people to “grown up” meetings like BPW, Rotary, or Chamber of Commerce. Help them to take part in the discussions. Pay their dues, if necessary.
Action Items for Small Towns:
- Get students involved with city government. Invite them to meetings, and let them participate.
- Create a youth involvement committee/task force/board. Get them involved in long term planning. Take their contributions seriously.
- Share your parks and rec plans with youth groups. Ask them to help develop, decorate, or improve your parks.
- Read over the small biz suggesstions, too! Because a small town goverment is also a small biz.
Watch for more brain drain fighters in the days to come!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.