Cities Provide Services to Young Professionals for Economic Development

By Geary, Caitlin; Seeger, Katie | Nation's Cities Weekly, May 31, 2010 | Go to article overview

Cities Provide Services to Young Professionals for Economic Development


Geary, Caitlin, Seeger, Katie, Nation's Cities Weekly


A strong, highly skilled work force is generally considered one of the most basic pillars of local economic development. When a community has a highly educated, skilled work force, businesses are more likely to settle, stay, grow and prosper in that city.

For many years, however, communities have struggled with the outward migration of young educated workers, hindering a city's ability to sustain future economic growth.

An absence of highly-skilled workers dissuades certain knowledge-intensive industries from relocating to or remaining in an area. Cities benefit from these industries because they are generally considered a more sustainable, stable means of economic growth in a community.

Compounding the problem is the challenge of a workforce that is gradually getting older. Without access to younger, skilled workers, local industries do not have a pool of desirable replacements. In the long term, this strains innovation and forces communities to depend on lower-skilled industry bases, which generally offer lower salaries and less long-term stability.

Some cities have taken steps to provide the professional, social and community networks to encourage young, skilled workers to remain in their communities. These initiatives often offer students, and entry- and mid-level careerists services, such as professional and career development, job search assistance, volunteer opportunities, and social networking among peers and businesses from the area.

For example, the City of Philadelphia, in partnership with universities, nonprofits, businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, developed young professionals programs that assist students and future job seekers in multiple aspects of their careers. These programs, such as CampusPhilly and YPN Philadelphia, approach students as they begin the university admissions process and continue to offer services after they enter the work force as young professionals. …

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Cities Provide Services to Young Professionals for Economic Development
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