Cities across the nation (or at least the people who acknowledge the theory of the Creative Class) are battling to attract creative, professional talent. Local volunteer organization and DaytonMostMetro.com partner updayton has zeroed in on the next generation of these creative professionals and focuses on retaining and attracting those they term the “young creatives.”
On Tuesday, updayton released their Year Two Report to highlight the latest data on the region’s “brain drain,” actions taken by updayton volunteers and others in the community to plug it, and the latest things they’ve heard from young people at the 2010 Young Creatives Summit.
The statistics they present tell two stories. One is of a brain drain gap that is growing. The Dayton region has a larger number of students attending college here – we’ve added 22,000 college students from 2005-2008. However, the number of adults with a college degree in the region has only grown by less than 8,000. This discrepancy demonstrates that students are still leaving the region after graduation. However, the data isn’t all gloom and doom. American Community Survey published that in 2008 the region gained 4,000 individuals aged 18-34. For the first time in years, the Dayton region has a positive net increase in attracting these young creatives. The gap is closing.
Also included in the report, updayton takes a look back at progress made over the past few years. They update the community on the success of action plans from 2009 (including the Wayne Avenue Corridor and DaytonMostMetro.com), but they also recognize the important work done by numerous organizations throughout the region. In the 2009 report, updayton listed recommendations to address issues of utmost importance to young creative. Although they recognize that much of this work was in motion before updayton even existed, they take time in the 2010 report to acknowledge the important projects that are making Dayton more welcoming and accessible to young creatives. But although the region has advanced significantly in urban vibrancy and connectivity, there are still important steps that must be taken in cultivating greater diversity and better connecting college students to the job market.
The Year Two Report also focuses on the 2010 Young Creatives Summit. They provide the community with the complaints and concerns of the young professionals who attended the Summit, and they highlight the possible solutions brainstormed by those same YPs. For each topic: Entrepreneurship, The Dayton Scene, Neighborhoods / Community, and Diversity – updayton presents the common themes that recurred in each breakout session and recommendations for future progress. Although some of these recommendations require implementation at a higher organizational or government level, there are many steps that businesses, nonprofits, and individuals can take to make a difference.
Finally, updayton utilizes the Report to spotlight the Action Plan projects that volunteers are undertaking to make a difference in the community. Updayton prides itself on connecting young creatives back into the system to be a part of the solution.