St. Louis falls 30% below national average in retaining college graduates in the region after graduation. If St. Louis were able to retain even a small percentage of non-native graduates it would result in a huge influx of knowledge workers entering the local economy every year. In order to keep these “knowledge workers” in St. Louis after graduation the region needs to act as one big campus attracting, en-gaging and eventually retaining the graduates through cultural connections, internships, and eventually jobs. By convincing more graduates to stay in the region through identifying connections to the community during their undergraduate education St. Louis will invigorate its workforce, improve its global reputation as a city of intellect and attract even more students and young college graduates to the region.
Peg Weathers is the Assistant Vice President for Community Relations at Saint Louis University where she works to strengthen the university’s connection to the community through outreach initiatives and joint projects involving the University and the greater community. Previously, she was Executive Vice President for Grand Center, Inc. where she launched and managed successful efforts for the creation of the Grand Center Community Improvement District and the Grand Center Tax Increment Finance District. Peg has been involved with politics at the State and local levels, serving as Deputy Campaign Director for Bob Holden’s 2000 Governor’s race and working on Francis Slay’s first mayoral campaign in 2001. She was an appointee in the Clinton Administration, 1993-2000, as the Director of Scheduling and Advance for both the Secretary of Transportation, Federico Peña, and the Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson. Peg is on the Board of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse – St. Louis. She holds a B.A. in Speech Communication and a M.A. in Radio, TV, Film from the University of Missouri – Columbia.