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Inside Out

Give them a reason to return

Jeanne Sager
Posted 3/29/22

The arrival of the annual Young Professionals section of the Democrat always hits me with a jolt of energy.

As a parent raising a child in our county, the fear that our kids will grow up and move …

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Inside Out

Give them a reason to return

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The arrival of the annual Young Professionals section of the Democrat always hits me with a jolt of energy.

As a parent raising a child in our county, the fear that our kids will grow up and move away is a strong one, and it’s only strengthened by memories of my own childhood and plans to get as far away from home as I could.

You could say homesickness foiled those plans, or at least redirected them, as like so many of the young people profiled in the special section recently, I returned home and once again became part of the community that raised me.

It’s the parts all of these young professionals play in our communities that is especially encouraging — a young woman who ran for public office at just 25, a volunteer fireman, a singer who holds concerts to benefit local non-profits, a member of our local volunteer organizations like the Rotary Club.

They’re not just living and working here but giving back here too, weaving their lives into the fabric of our communities to make them better and stronger.

It’s been well reported that the pandemic has changed the way we live and changed the way we move, has accelerated what was already happening as more people moved out of large cities toward suburbs, smaller cities, and of course our small towns. In particular, data tracking moves from March 2020 and February 2021 shows New York’s metro area saw 100 people move out for every 84 people moving in.

With that has come a fair share of pain points for our area — housing prices have yet to stabilize — but along with the increase in remote work options, it also points to increased possibilities for our county’s young people right here in the communities that raised them.

When they come back, our young professionals do great things.

We just need to give them a reason to return.

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