I’ve been following the #CLE20 on Twitter and their topic this week got me thinking about another great answer to “Why Cleveland?” In case you don’t know what the #CLE20 is, it’s a group of 20 well-known CLE tweeters who discuss (on Twitter) a different CLE topic each week. This initiative is sponsored by cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer. You can read about it here and, from one of the #CLE20’s herself, here.
At any rate, this week’s #CLE20 topic involves how CLE can recruit and keep the best and the brightest living and working here. In essence, how do we explain “Why Cleveland?” to them? I think one of the best ways to stop the brain drain is to tell the best and the brightest that there are plenty more just like them living and working in CLE already. The #CLE20 group is testament to the fact that there is a young, vibrant, caring, involved group of CLE-ers, who want to spend their lives here and who are actively working to improve and promote the city.
But it’s more than just the #CLE20. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance has a City Advocate program that is accepting applications until February 21, 2011 for it’s 2011-2013 class. This program brings together young professional CLE-ers who create action-based plans to better CLE.
Cleveland Bridge Builders is also currently accepting applications. This program helps develop the next generation of leaders in CLE and forms connections between current and future community leaders.
These are just three examples of the strength and vibrancy of CLE’s young professional community. Since starting this blog, I’ve met so many other passionate CLE advocates and have found my love of and commitment to CLE growing through the process. I truly believe it can be the same for stopping the brain drain. By introducing new graduates to the opportunities that exist within the young professional community, those new graduates are far more likely to see themselves building not just a career, but a life in CLE. Perhaps through outreach programs from City Advocates, Bridge Builders, and other young professional groups to the colleges and universities in the area, the lasting connections to CLE will begin even before a job search.
Excited, involved, and caring CLE-ers are perhaps the best answer yet to “Why Cleveland?”