Reinforcing the fact that the greater Great Lakes region is equipped with some of the strongest innovation infrastructure in the world, the American Society for Engineering Management recently ranked the engineering management program at Western Michigan University top in the United States.
This is third year that the program has ranked among America's top five, according to a university press release, and the national exposure has fueled significant jumps in enrollment, as well as graduation and placement rates for WMU-trained engineers.
The national acclaim comes amidst mounting awareness that the ability to cultivate talent, develop cutting edge ideas, and deliver new knowledge and technologies to market is perhaps the chief economic challenge confronting America in the 21st century.
Developing top talent has never been a problem for the Great Lakes. Retaining those skilled professionals, and leveraging their creativity in pursuit of prosperity, is where the region struggles.
What's needed to keep more of those smart people in the region, and compete more successfully in the global economy, is a coordinated development strategy that targets investment in research and higher education; modern infrastructure such as mass transit and renewable energy; and the restoration of the globaly unique waters of the Great Lakes. That will make the region a more attractive place to live and work.