What does brain drain really mean and how it's impacting Wisconsin's future

GREEN BAY, Wis. - You've seen the headlines, Wisconsin's brain drain defined, as 'highly intelligent or trained people," leaving the state or country.

"Everyone is looking for talented young people," said Bay Area workforce executive director, Jim Golembeski.

Executive director of Bay Area workforce development Jim Golembeski, says millenials, those aged 21 to 32, are essential to the state's economy.

"Wisconsin has not done a good job of saying, of building an argument of why should you stay here? and looking at the good things, we've not done a good job marketing ourselves to say you know there's a lot to do here that young people would like," said Golembeski.

The population of the state rises, .5% every year, a majority of them are 65 or older, in the past 5 years, 9,000 college educated grads, have left the state for work.

Ben Lindberg, is one of those students.

"I wanted to work for a large firm, which also limits the options to a few cities in the midwest," said Lindberg.

Lindberg, said his choices came down to Chicago, Milwaukee or Minneapolis.

He said his family was a big driver.

While students like Lindberg decided to leave, there are students who decided to stay.

Trevor Olsen, grew up a small town kid, calling Gresham, his home.

I had 20 kids in my high school class, so nice and small," said Olsen.

"I really liked and heard a lot of great things about their accounting program, and their business school in general, it felt like it would be a really good fit for me," said Olsen.

State leaders said 88%  of high school students, graduate, but only about 29% graduate college, that's according to a UW study.

Dylan Ringham in school for her masters degree for finance, left Chicago to attend UWGB.

"I do enjoy being here more than I would in Chicago, because Chicago is such a big school I mean a big city, it's a lot more difficult to make friendly communities so I feel like I enjoy the smaller feel here," said Rinham.

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