DES MOINES, Iowa -- Stanford University is doing what it can to bring people to the middle of the country, by offering to pay students to attend its graduate business school if they agree to work in the Midwest. Stanford's USA MBA fellowship will pay for approximately $160,000 in tuition and associated fees, over two years.
According to the program's website, "Competitive applicants will demonstrate a commitment to pursue professional opportunities that foster the development of the region." Stanford requires "...USA MBA Fellows to work for, invest in, or create organizations with significant operations and impact in the region."
Meanwhile, business students at Drake University think the Midwest gets a bad rap. "I think that East Coast and the West Coast people, they`re not, like they don`t think that the Midwest has as much to offer as it does," said Sophomore Joe Gratz. "I think they just think that it`s all on the coast and there`s nothing in the middle," said Gratz.
"People who are not from the Midwest tend to not see the Midwest as somewhere that`d be interesting to work or live, like Iowa and Nebraska, and states like that are usually looked down upon as being boring," said Sophomore Liz Keup.
Tina Hoffman, Marketing & Communications Director for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, says the Midwest has a great business climate and lot to offer. "Lower cost of living, certainly than in Silicon Valley, particularly as it relates to startups. This is a great place to grow a business," said Hoffman." "That`s why they call it the Silicon Prairie; much lower cost of doing business."
Even so, there is a need for skilled workers. That's why Stanford is making a commitment to economic development in what it calls an under-served region.
"When I`m with my colleagues from other states, one of the big topics that is always brought up is workforce, so it`s not just an Iowa problem. I would venture to say a lot of states in the nation have a worker shortage in general," said Hoffman.