Generations of people came to the Midwest in hopes of finding a better life. But economic opportunity has been harder to find since the recession began. People left the region in record numbers in search of jobs or a better housing market.
Changing Gears is launching a project to document the stories of these Midwestern exiles. We’ll be mapping where these people ended up. And, they will be sharing their own stories about why they left and if it’s better where they are now.
If you or somebody you know has been a part of the Midwest Migration, add the story to the project.
Today, you’ll meet Andy Borchers. He and his wife moved to Nashville, Tennessee in July of 2011. You can also see his story on our map.
Andy and Becky Borchers, now of Nashville, TN
Name: Andy Borchers
Midwest home: Clarkston, MI
New home: Nashville, TN
Why did Becky and I move we after living for a combined 80 years in Michigan? The single biggest reason was a lifestyle choice. Our children are grown and moved out of state. Becky’s parents both passed away, We felt free to start a new phase of our life.
Leaving dear friends in Michigan and having to pack up and sell our home of 27 years was not easy to do. Indeed, the move was very stressful for both of us, and we are glad to have this behind us. After five months in Nashville, however, we are thoroughly enjoying our new lives, friends and church family.
Looking towards retirement, we wanted to move to a warmer climate and an area with a lower cost of living. My new employer, a Christian university, gives me tremendous opportunity for professional growth as a business professor. It’s twice the size and in a stronger position than my previous employer. Nashville has much more to offer, especially in service industries such as health care.
The economy in Nashville appears to be stronger and more diverse than Southeast Michigan. The center of auto manufacturing has seemingly moved from Detroit to southern states centered around Nashville,
Moving to Nashville allowed us to return to a town we came to love while when we spent the first ten months of our marriage here as I completed a graduate degree. Although I very much miss my university colleagues in Michigan, I am establishing new relationships in teaching and research. Becky and I are very optimistic for our future in Nashville. Living in a different place brings some sadness and loss but also new opportunities and growth.