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Coalition Defines Goals to Keep Young Professionals in Rochester

As Rochester leaders get ready to present their economic report and 2017 vision for the community on Wednesday, a coalition of young professionals has some goals of its own.

"We hear a lot about what's going to happen in the future; we hear a lot about what people to think we should be doing,” said Kayleigh Rae Stampfler, RocCity Coalition advisory committee co-chair. “We thought it was time for young professionals to stand up and say, 'we're a part of this; we have thoughts, and don't be doing this without us. We want to have a say in it.' "   

A 2015 survey and focus groups have identified some key areas of interest among young professionals aged 18 to 44: Jobs, affordable housing, mobility, community connections, and cultural and recreational activities.

One item on the coalition’sVision 2025 Action Plan is to start conversations with local college career centers about how to connect young people with good employment opportunities.

"What is it that needs to be happening in these career centers that isn't happening right now, and how can we utilize our platform so that we can make sure that the youth are having the conversations and seeing what they need in this area so they don't start looking out toward those bigger cities," Stampfler said.

The group's action plan says the community at large can also support young professionals by offering mentoring and coaching programs, as well as cultivating leadership skills through service on local for-profit and non-profit boards.

When it comes to affordable housing and homeownership, Stampfler said some local educational events don’t seem geared toward younger people’s lifestyles and availability. RocCity Coalition wants to develop a series of events series of events to increase the awareness of, and access to, rental and home ownership opportunities in the Greater Rochester region.

Another goal for the coalition is to broaden the idea of what a young professional is.

"We want to take back the definition of the word 'young professional',” Stampfler said, “and showcase some of the young parents who are out there making a difference in their community, showcase young men and women, people of color, people in the deaf community; every walk of life that we can."

Stampfler said the coalition also plans to increase outreach to minority populations by holding meetings in a variety of neighborhood settings, such as recreation centers, and encouraging diverse representation in its advisory committee.

Representatives from RocCity Coalition will present their 2025 Action Plan at the Vision-Future event at the Riverside Convention Center Wednesday afternoon sponsored by the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation and Rochester Rotary.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.