A Geography of Employment – College Graduates Drive Economic Development
While farmers did well exporting agricultural products this year in the San Joaquin Valley, another export hurt its cities – young adults with college degrees.
The New York Times reports that places like Bakersfield and similar cities throughout the country are having a difficult time retaining the most entrepreneurial, innovative and educated workers coming out of universities. These trends also seem to be recursive, “as college graduates gravitate to places with many other college graduates and the atmosphere that creates.”
The trend appears to link culture and economics in a geography of employment where “knowledge breeds knowledge.” College graduates promote economic growth through their technical training while creating cultural spaces in housing, retail, recreation, work spaces and neighborhoods that draw other similarly oriented people. Rapidly, social capital precedes economic development in a dynamic of growth.
However, for cities not seen as attractive to college graduates, the reverse tendencies can discourage influxes of well trained workers and the development of city centers that are vibrant and alive.