Miles Morin: Drill offshore to prevent brain drain

pilot mediaThe Virginian-Pilot | March 1, 2016 | Miles Morin

If the ground under Hampton Roads were filled with gold, would it make sense to spend time and money mining it, only to give it to New York City, Atlanta, Richmond, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C.?

We would never invest time and money in an enterprise only to give its fruits away.

But we do this with our students, many of whom benefit from a great K-12 education, go to college, and do not return home after graduation. Instead, they go to metropolitan areas with strong job markets in desirable fields.

I am a Hampton Roads native. I attended Virginia Beach Public Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Our public school system has an excellent reputation and produces high-quality graduates that go on to study at top universities. But like most of my peers, I did not return to Virginia Beach because it lacks desirable jobs for recent graduates.

The cities of Hampton Roads are doing an excellent job educating their children and then sending them all over the country to contribute in competing economic regions. We should instead be working to build a diverse economy that encourages top graduates to return and devote their talents to the prosperity of their home.

With perpetual defense cuts a near certainty and great vulnerability in relying on tourism and the Port of Virginia to uphold the local and regional economies, Hampton Roads needs new industries for continued growth and economic stability.

Read full editorial here.

Miles Morin is executive director of the Virginia Petroleum Council. He is a Virginia Beach native and graduated from Frank W. Cox High School.

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