Research by the National Forum has found that the current agendas and initiatives being used to influence policy and work towards revitalizing Michigan are being drafted without the perspectives and input of young adults ages 18-25, an often overlooked group in public discourse. It is important to connect with this group and attract them to careers that will help rebuild Michigan’s communities and businesses. Their outlook and decisions hold the key to future social, cultural, economic, and political prosperity in Michigan.
To bring the youth perspective to the forefront of the discussion on the economic and social revitalization of Michigan, we have begun work on launching an initiative that reaches out to young people and seeks to learn more about how they are forming their career and life decisions after college, and to see what additional information or experiences help them as they make choices that will shape their lives — and, ultimately, the state of Michigan. Our goal is to “frame” and then nurture a public deliberation process that will engage young people in making individual and collective choices about the future.
Through a partnership with the Michigan Campus Compact, we will meet with student leaders at 40 of Michigan’s private and public colleges and universities over the next twelve months to understand better their viewpoints and to share information about the opportunities they have to shape Michigan’s future while developing their own. By hearing and soliciting recommendations of young adults, we will be able to enhance and supplement the already-existing agenda being developed to aid policymakers in the social and economic revitalization of Michigan.