dave-mittlemanWho would’ve guessed that our state capital would make the list of the top ten greatest places for young adults to live? It seems that all we hear about lately is the negative aspects of Mid-Michigan and the state at large: the economy is in the doldrums, there are no jobs, and that all the young adults are fleeing the state for elsewhere. But according to the well-known financial group, Kiplinger, Lansing is being touted as one of the best places for young people to live and begin their professional careers.

Perhaps Lansing’s success in achieving the honor can be attributed to a group of passionate, community-minded young people who have pushed the “Love Lansing” notion on Twitter for the past year, including defending their decision to live in the relatively small town when compared to the other cities that made the list. True, many young professionals live in Lansing for similar reasons: they graduated from MSU and stayed to work in the surrounding areas. Indeed, that was one of several reasons Lansing made Kiplinger’s list; the article noted Lansing’s higher-paying job opportunities in the biotech and Internet technology sectors. The average pay for one of these jobs starts at about $59,332 and companies in the Lansing area include Niowave Inc., Liquid Web Inc., and Emergent Biosolutions Inc. However, the area is also driven by other non-tech employers including Sparrow Hospital, Michigan State University, Ingham Regional Medical Center, and the General Motors Corporation.

Of course, Michigan is still struggling with a high unemployment rate and many of the biotech and Internet technology jobs require a 4-year degree or more. But the recognition from Kiplinger shows that Lansing is on the right track, at least that’s according to Sean Mann, who heads the “Let’s Save Michigan” campaign. In addition, in 2007, Mayor Virg Bernero, who has an 8-point lead on his opponent, Andy Dillon, in the gubernatorial race a week before the primary election, launched the Linking Lansing and U campaigns to get college and university students, recent graduates, and young entrepreneurs involved in the city.