WFPL's Brain Drain Series: 'There Are a Lot of Great Minds Here'
Last year, the city announced Louisville had lost thousands of bachelor’s degree holders, reversing nearly a decade of steady gains that help prevent the phenomenon known as “brain drain.”
The largest declines came from young adults between 25 to 34 years old, according to 2011 data. As cities across the country continue competing for brilliant minds and to grow the number of young professionals, WFPL is asking the question: What does Louisville have to offer?According to Louisville’s 55,000 Degrees initiative—the city’s clearinghouse for how many degrees are being earned—the city is not on pace to meet its goal by 2020, according to the 2012 progress report. Part of the reason, the report says, may be due to Louisville’s weak wage growth when measured up against peer cities.But Louisville has been making an effort to encourage entrepreneurs, grow its downtown and increase the number of job opportunities in certain sectors.Over the next month, WFPL is exploring the stories of why people stay, why they leave and the challenges the city faces.Brandon McReynolds, 22, is very Louisville. He's from here. He went to U of L. And now he works at Greater Louisville Inc., the city's chamber of commerce. McReynolds is also an important Louisville statistic. He's a native with a degree who still lives in Louisville. The city hasn't always had the best of luck at keeping talented, educated young people in town.