Come home? Why? What’s the big deal? If you’ve been following us on social media for any amount of time you know that we are always encouraging Virgin Islanders to #ComeHome. As a matter of fact, we launched our #COMEHOMEUSVI campaign last December. One of the primary focuses of the VISTA+ program is connecting Virgin Islanders near and far with opportunities to defeat brain drain and come back home. Brain drain? What is that? If you Google the term, brain drain, you’ll find many definitions as it pertains to economics. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as, “the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions.”
What that means for us here in the Virgin Islands is that once our young adults finish high school and go to college either here or on the mainland, they don’t come home after graduating. They stay in the states or move abroad in search of better opportunities because they don’t think they can find them at home. This in turn leads to many jobs sitting vacant in the territory because there’s no qualified candidate to fill them.
Why do some people choose to move away after they get their degree? Why do others decide to stay on the mainland in search of greener pastures? I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s not because there are no opportunities here. There are more opportunities than ever! It’s just that many of us have been conditioned into believing that we need to leave if we want success. This is simply not true. This is where VISTA+ comes in, VISTA+ isn’t just another job site. It’s a curated experience providing the #1 resource and pipeline for Virgin Islanders across the world to return home, reverse the brain drain and revitalize our community.
Here are the top three reasons you should consider coming home:
1 . The Virgin Islands has a strong sense of community and unique culture.
No more code-switching. Wouldn’t you prefer to work a little closer to home? Where everyone knows your name and ‘get’ your culture? No more being just a name or a face with no meaning. The work you do here matters, you get to see firsthand how it affects your company and your community on a more personal level. No more long work commutes. With the rising cost of gas prices, shortening commute times is essential.
2. The Virgin Islands is a great place to raise a family
Growing up in the Caribbean has its perks, perpetual summer, and memories of family get-togethers on the beach and for the holidays. Running around with your neighbors and cousins, climbing trees, and picking fresh fruit. Your children deserve the same experience. What better place to raise them than in a safe community with family nearby?
3. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation
The Virgin Islands is an ideal place for entrepreneurs and innovators to start a business. The University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park (RTPark) is a rapidly growing economic development program specializing in technology and knowledge-based business attraction. RTPark has the resources necessary to turn your idea into reality.
Those are just a few reasons that it’s time for you to consider what’s next in your professional journey. What is next for you and your family? If you’re a STEAM professional with familial ties to the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are many opportunities available for you to make a difference in our community. It’s time we start taking advantage of the talent that exists here and bringing back those who have left. Are you ready to come home?