Lean in on young talent
Last month we had reason to celebrate. I shared this with many:
“. . . 2,000+ newly credentialed young adults are our newest community asset. We’ve been investing in them — as a community, as a family and as a state — since they were newborns. That’s a lot of investment! Now that we’ve got them…what do we do with them? More than 2000 high school graduates, many with career and college plans, some with an eye on the military, all with hope and energy to “commence,” to begin their next steps in life. Are those next steps here with us, or are they elsewhere? They have choices. So do we. We can nod congratulations and go on with our day, or we can show some collective pride in our accomplishment. Their success is this community’s success. We’ve had a hand; they’ve done the work and earned their degree; we’ve nurtured, supported, coached and encouraged along the way. Let’s make sure our most valued community asset, the High School Graduating Class of 2019, knows that Southwest Indiana is proud of their accomplishments and that we look forward to them joining us in growing the future we all want!”
Add the thousands of credentialed graduates of our region’s colleges and universities, and we can agree that we have a rich pool of talent that we either watch leave or invite to stay in our community. Greater Evansville and Southwest Indiana need to grow. In particular, we need this young adult population. Why? They inject energy, new thinking and long career horizons into our local economy. They can contribute to filling our critical employment shortage, start families and strengthen our community.
This opportunity is all of ours. Every one of us. Are we going to hire them, mentor them, listen to them? Or let them migrate to the 10 biggest US cities and hope some find their way back — eventually. Let’s play to our strengths: our region stacks up well against our peers in the percentage of young adults already living and working here. That matters; we know that young adults attract more young adults. And we have a very competitive cost of living. What can each of us do to lean in to this young talent pool? Congratulate their success and offer a hand as they make choices that matter for all.
Together we can and will thrive!