Reversing the “bright flight” which is draining NY of its best and brightest

NORWICH – Despite having the highest concentration of college students in the country, Central New York is experiencing an unprecedented mass exodus of educated young people. According to Dr. Ray Cross, president of Morrisville State College, something must be done to put a stop to the “bright flight” of 24 to 35 year-olds in order to ensure the continued economic viability of the region.

“It is the worst type of loss,” Cross said on Tuesday, as he addressed a group of local business leaders at a breakfast hosted by Commerce Chenango as part of the chamber’s Good Morning, Chenango series. The event, sponsored by GHS Federal Credit Union, took place at Lt. Warren E. Eaton American Legion Post 189 in Norwich.

These young, educated individuals are leaving New York, Cross explained, primarily because of “sluggish” job growth resulting from the state’s current business climate, high utility costs and high taxes.

“The most effective solution ... is growing existing businesses,” he said, but doing so would likely require lowering the cost of doing business as well as streamlining state bureaucracy and reforming regulatory systems. By asking for a quick show of hands by audience members, however, Cross was able to illustrate how few people were confident that those changes would take place even within the next 10 years.

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