VPR News
5:33 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Choosing Vermont: What's The State Doing To Keep Vermont's Young Professionals?

VPR's Choosing Vermont series has featured the voices of Vermont's young professionals - why they stay, and why they may choose to leave.

Vermont's Commissioner of Economic Development Lisa Gosselin says it's not a new issue.

On why young people leave

"People grow up here, they go to college, and they want to experience something different."

"Vermonters have always left the state. I think that's true for any state where you have a large college population. People grow up here, they go to college, and they want to experience something different. For instance, from 1950 to 1960 about 9.4 percent of people in their 20s left the state. But between 2000 and 2010 - the last year we have data for - that number has actually dropped to 8.3 percent."

"Yes, people might leave the state for college or for the first few years of work, but they are coming back, and they're coming back educated."

"Further, what we're seeing is that Vermont now has the second highest in-migration of college-educated people after the state of Massachusetts. It's telling us that yes, people might leave the state for college or for the first few years of work, but they are coming back, and they're coming back educated."

On what the state is doing

"We launched an initiative called the Great Jobs in Vermont campaign. It's an effort to raise awareness of the job opportunities here in Vermont. We partnered with the Vermont Department of Tourism to promote on their site a Careers in Vermont link. That takes you to a Vermont Department of Labor site as well as to a LinkedIn site that promotes the jobs."

"I think young Vermonters also need to network."

On her advice for young professionals hoping to stay in Vermont

"I think in some instances we haven't set up a good enough network for people to find work. One thing we're working at as a state is to try to better communicate what jobs are available. I think young Vermonters also need to network, to join some of the young professionals groups. To understand that just because you're in software and I.T., doesn't mean you shouldn't be working for a media company, or, say, King Arthur Flour."