How do we stop losing our young?

About three weeks ago, my wife and I moved our youngest son to Denver.   I posted the following on Twitter:  “Moved son to Denver.  Average age in Iowa just incrd. I’m 0 for 3 for kids in IA.   How do we stop losing our young?”

I received one reply on Twitter and several on Facebook.  Let me know which ones you agree with or disagree with and/or add your own opinion.

RT at 2:15pm June 27
Joel, I think limiting the role of government is a good start. We have 3 kids and we are not quite at that age yet, but the Business Climate and Public Policy in our community and State do have a direct relationship… imo. We need sustainability….

TH at 2:45pm June 27
The first step is to repeal Iowa’s so-called “Right-to-work” law. This will raise wages and benefits for all workers in every sector. Raising wages for workers is, imo, the single most important thing we can do to keep young folks in Iowa.

SS at 2:53pm June 27
Keep the Younger college degree kids in Iowa by giving assistance to college student loans for those that went to college in Iowa and want to stay and work in Iowa, and not move the jobs to lower wage places like India or China. How about making Iowan’s come first!

DG at 3:42pm June 27
Joel, The state of Iowa does nothing for anyone except farmers. You have to look at our senators and representatives that are all farmers. The only good thing the state has is the schools.

AW at 4:23pm June 27
Younger people feel as though they are not part of the decision making process on the state and local government level. They feel disinfranchised by the fact that their voices, ideas and methods are not listened to and applied by the powers that be.

As an example, since the flood, I have wanted to see our communities use the minds of the students from the three state universities to work along city, county and state government to assist in recovery and rebuilding efforts. Not only are we using the brainpower of some of the brightest minds in our state, these students will feel like they are a part of something and may want to settle here. Also this is a way of the governmental bodies to pick through whom their next civil servants and employees will be.
noyzsource @lcauditor You can’t stop losing them. You encourage them to see new things and sometimes they’ll see what they left behind and come back.  5:56 PM Jun 27th

CP at 6:27pm June 27
Being an Iowa native who has moved away within the last week I have some ideas as to why myself others are fleeing. First, many Iowans stay in the state to go to school, high out of state tuition in neighboring states give kids the opportunity to stay close. With the quality education that we receive here it gives us the opportunity start a profession almost anywhere we like. By the time we reach graduation we are ready to explore, taking our education with us. Second, I’ve heard Iowa defined as a place to retire, or “you’ll be back to raise your children”, never have I heard “its a great place to be really active” or “your going to have so much fun there” (I do love Iowa, and yes, there are opportunities for recreational activities) but not as many as other places. Who knows maybe when I realize really how great Iowa is, I’ll be back to raise my kids.

AM at 2:58pm June 28
I’m going to have to agree with Chris on this one. Luckily us Iowans are educated so well that it allows us to branch out and explore new opportunities throughout the world. Thanks for helping move me out though.

5 Responses to “How do we stop losing our young?”

  1. Mark Says:

    The main thing that kept me in Iowa after graduating college 4 years ago was that I had a competitive job offer in Iowa in a career path that I wanted to enter. The second thing was the desire to be close to family. If the job offer was not there, I would not be in Iowa. If I ever decide to change companies I’m not sure I can find a similar workplace in Iowa compared to what I have now.

    Talking to and visiting friends who have moved out of state and are experiencing a completely different life style (ie – Cambridge, MA) compared to living in Iowa makes me feel like I missed out on an opportunity to explore. But, I believe that God lead me to the decision to stay in Iowa and I do my best to make the most of it.

    So, to answer your question as a 26yr old, I believe the desire to know more than just Iowa would be the number one reason most young people leave the state.


  2. Clete Colgate Says:

    Repealing Iowa’s Right to Work law will turn our economy into Michigan’s. In all due respect, that is not a good idea, unless you want of higher wages for some people to go with higher taxes and unemployment for the rest of us.


  3. Rhonda Says:

    I have to go with the response about young people not feeling like part of the decision making. There is the obvious desire to see what else is out there, but there is so much in Iowa focused on the elderly…because we have such a large aging population…that it doesn’t seem much is left for the rest of us.

    I’m not originally from Iowa. I moved here 20 years ago when I was 22 years old. I came for a job I had been hired for. I stayed for the educational opportunities and by the age of 26 I had two young children. It is a great place to raise kids. But now my oldest is talking about leaving too.

    We as a state need to be more proactive at reaching out and making young people feel more invested.


  4. lcauditor Says:

    A comment from MB via Facebook:

    “a living wage and a modicum of respect in professional careers, ie let’s get busy passing EFCA and fair share and thus we can promote our families staying closer. there will be GOOD reasons to stay!! once we do that, the things the younger generations of adults enjoy will follow/evolve”


  5. lcauditor Says:

    Update: My son, his wife, and their son moved back to Iowa in August 2014. Primary reason: To be closer to family. My daughter and her husband moved back to Iowa in 2013. Primary reasons: Family and job opportunities.


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