The following letter was sent to the family of a friend of the Rio Grande Foundation by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller as part of his “One Albuquerque” initiative. The young man recently graduated high school and is now considering options out of college.
It appears that Albuquerque’s “big push” for young people to stay home and go to UNM involves free bus passes, “world-class” cultural amenities, early childhood programs, and the opportunity to serve on boards and commissions.” Sounds pretty tempting….
I don’t know about today’s college kids, but I went to college for the purpose of finding better job opportunities. Of course, that is not Albuquerque’s strong suit. I think more New Mexico students should be encouraged to go out of state (or at least out of town) for college to see what the world beyond Albuquerque looks like. It is also pretty unusual for the Mayor to be sending letters to young people encouraging them to stay home.
Gov. Lujan-Grisham has also gotten into the act with her “STEM Boomerang” program. Is it enough? We think politicians should be focusing on freeing businesses to create high-paying jobs, but that is not where New Mexico policies are going these days. Will free bus passes and opportunities to get involved in government stem the tide of young people who are leaving (see United Van Lines data below the letter)?