Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Brain Drain, Part II

One of the disheartening aspects of calling Bakersfield home is watching the steady exodus of bright young people who go off to good schools and never return. It's not that they don't have soft feelings for Bako; it's just the simple lack of opportunities. And despite what our city leaders may say, it takes more than an affordable home to attract young people here. Things like culture, a nightlife where you won't get shot or stabbed and a crowd of the similarly educated would be a good start. It's why I started the "brain drain" list farther down on this page to note those who chose not to come back, and these were just the names that came to mind over a 10 minute period. Some kids do of course return, but it doesn't hurt if there's a family business in town. Joe Hay (son of Mikie and Dan Hay, owners of Jim Burke Ford) went to Notre Dame and is now back in town working at the dealership. Kelly Loyd, daughter of Steve and Pat Loyd of Loyd's Aviation, is back in town after graduating from UC Berkeley and working for Gap in San Francisco. Morgan Clayton, owner of Tel-Tec Security, has three children including one of whom, Tasha, is working at the company after graduating from Pepperdine. (His two boys are both working in Los Angeles.) It's just a shame that there aren't more opportunities for our best and our brightest to return home.

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