Expert says economic leaders may be too focused on college grads

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The vast number of colleges and universities in Central New York is one of the region’s great resources.

But the region also suffers from the mass exodus of the best and brightest picking up and starting work elsewhere – especially launching businesses.

A Syracuse University researcher has recently taken a look at whether the region should invest more in stopping the brain drain.

Scott Friedberg is one example of a graduate who’s making his mark in Central New York.

While still a student at Syracuse University, Friedberg started Gilded Social.

The company helps businesses engage and communicate with their customers through social media.

" My company is actually out there creating this custom content for them to engage their audiences on social media which we think is crucial,” he said.

Despite graduating in 2014, the New Jersey native sees no reason to pick up and start a business elsewhere.

"I got a lot of work while I was here in school and it just made sense for me to stay here and continue to grow my network and business here and the community here has been great,” he said.

SU professor Johan Wiklund has been researching the issue and he says, based on what he’s found, the Tech Garden may be focusing too much on college graduates.

He suggested that it might be time for them to shift toward people who are already wired into the region.

" Maybe their main targets should be people who were already in the area.  People for example who work at say Saab Sensis, people who work at Lockheed Martin,” Wiklund said.

Friedberg noted that it may be what business you’re in.

“I think it depends what business you're in, I think certain businesses might lend more to certain areas, this area has worked well for me,” he said.

Gilded Social has expanded into every single state in the country – with more than 50 clients in multiple sectors.
 


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