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DETROIT (WJBK) — For years, Michigan governors have been trying to figure out how to hold onto the state’s best and brightest and reverse the brain drain.  So how is it that state officials are being accused of driving a trailblazing Ph.D. out of business and right out of Michigan?

Bellandra Foster says she had a pretty good thing going helping to fix Michigan’s roads until two state transportation officials decided to fix her.  For good.

Foster is leaving, but not by choice.

By many measures, Foster is exceptional.  She is a black female engineer in a field dominated by white men.  And while others were fleeing Michigan’s economic meltdown, she started a business in Detroit and she succeeded.

In 2008, she had 14 employees.  The Michigan Department of Transportation even named her firm Disadvantaged Business Enterprise of the Year.  It was the first time they handed out that award.

“I was growing, doing well.  It was often said that BBF Engineering Services had the best people,” Foster said.

But here’s where our success story hits a pothole.  Just as Michigan’s economy began to improve, Foster’s work for MDOT began drying up, but she couldn’t figure it out at first.

Read more about this compelling story by M.L. Elrick Investigative Reporter for Fox 2 News



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