Spartan and Buckeye collaborate to attract talent to the Blue Water Area

Posted on May 25, 2018

It’s not often you see a Spartan and Buckeye working together.

However, when it comes to talent attraction and enhancing our community, Dr. Daniel Wilhelm and Don Fletcher have set those differences aside. Together, they are offering the Community Foundation’s newest Come Home Award for McLaren Port Huron non-physician employees in the amount of $15,000.

The Come Home Award is an innovative talent attraction program launched by the Community Foundation in 2016.  It pays recent college grads with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) degrees to move back to St. Clair County to live and work.

A growing industry, healthcare is continuously improving with Port Huron anchoring the Thumb Area as a leading medical provider. As such, the region faces a constant need for highly qualified talent. The hope is this award offers a benefit to both our community and to the talented individual(s) who will receive it. This collaboration is a great example of what donors can do together to boost our community.

“Home grown quality talent is a win–win,” Fletcher said. “It’s great for healthcare and for their respective families to see them grow professionally and personally close to home.”

Fletcher, the retired CEO of Port Huron Hospital, and Dr. Wilhelm lived in the same neighborhood and their kids grew up together – they were also professional colleagues in healthcare for many years. Partnering to offer a new Come Home Award was a natural thing to do. 

“We want a U of M grad and other great university alumni to get on board,” Wilhelm said. “We want to show the way and encourage others to be a part of a new national pacesetter strategy developed by our local Community Foundation. Bringing young health professionals back home helps enrich our region.”

The Come Home Award is one way we help donors like Dr. Wilhelm and Fletcher support future talent in our community. Our traditional scholarships and the new Complete Your Degree program are the two other ways we are investing in talent. This three-fold approach enables the Foundation to focus not only on graduating seniors and current college students, but also extend support to those with life needs when pursuing a degree, as well as incentivize graduates to come back home to live, work and give back.

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