Keeping recent college grads in Delaware

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Hello everyone,

It is encouraging to see that the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce will place Intern Delaware and Delaware Young Professionals programs under its education umbrella. Click here for an earlier story.

It is also worth noting that the expansion will include a full-time position to be created for the State Chamber’s education programs that also include Principal for a Day and Superstars in Education.

Intern Delaware works to find college students internships, by no means an original idea. The difference here is an emphasis on building relationships and networks that can lead to grads starting their careers here.

Delaware has long seen a “brain drain” that can start after high school when some of the best and brightest attend colleges elsewhere and never return.

The same thing occurs when a growing number of Delaware students opt to attend universities here but, after graduation take positions elsewhere.

Granted, institutions of higher education often turn out graduates in fields where nearby opportunities are few.

At the same time, employers here have reported struggles in recruiting grads for available positions in a more diverse Delaware economy that is now more than banks, chemicals, and chickens.

Not to be ignored is the blurry “Delawhere” image that has persisted over the centuries.

Delaware became better known before and after the election of Joe Biden to the presidency. It also led to more jokes over the state’s postage stamp size and lack of attractions.

Also, Delaware’s universities have a sizable percentage of out-of-state students who are often inclined to seek positions back home. Student debt can mean their destination for a time will be their old bedroom.

We are also dealing with a generation focused on experiences in urban settings that attract young people. The typical employer pitch – a lower cost of living, and a location close to D.C., Philly, New York, and the beach – can draw yawns.

The pandemic could change that mindset, or accelerate the past trends as we see more vaccinations and a return to workplaces.

Whatever the case, keeping even more Delaware college and university grads in the state would provide a boost for employers and the economy in general – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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