John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:
When I was in Wisconsin last month, my sister complained to me that the state was about to launch (or had just launched, I forget) an initiative designed to convince students attending college in Wisconsin to stay in the state after graduation. This, she explained, was a bad idea. Wisconsin has many fine qualities, but those qualities are not necessarily those that might appeal to a recent college graduate. (And she knows what she's talking about; she lived in two small Wisconsin cities in her younger days, and constantly complained about how boring they were.)A more sensible approach, she suggested, would be to let the graduates leave the state and sow their wild oats elsewhere, and then try to convince them to come back when they're ready to settle down.

I told her that Iowa was doing exactly that. And as if to prove the point, I just got a letter from the Iowa Department of Economic Development earlier this week, inviting me to an Iowa Alumni and Friends Reception here in Washington, DC, later this month. By attending the reception, I can "learn more about the exciting opportunities created by Iowa's dynamic companies." Ooh, sounds exciting!

Well, maybe exciting is the wrong word. But what the heck, I'll go. I do like Iowa a lot, and while I have no immediate plans or desires to move there, it is a place to which I would definitely consider moving. I would have stayed in Iowa following graduation if I'd been able to find a job. But at that time (1991) Cedar Rapids was still primarily a blue collar city, and there just weren't many job opportunities available for a liberal arts graduate.

Like I say, I doubt I'm going to come away from this reception with a burning desire to move back to Iowa. But it should be fun nonetheless.

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