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Monroe County moves forward with program offering cash incentives to keep recent college grads in the area

Rochester's skyline from Court Street
James Brown
Rochester's skyline from Court Street

There are thousands of open jobs in this area, and the county struggles to keep many of its 19,000 graduating college students here each year.

And on Tuesday, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced an incentive for them to stay.

The program is called the Rochester Emerging Talent and Innovation Network, or RETAIN.

Funded by the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation the grant program offers college graduates a $2,000 payment if they stay and live here for one year.

``It helps to incentivize and retain young people to stay here who we've educated here, we've invested as a community and these young people, so we're helping to, to encourage them to stay,” said Bello. “But it also is a recruitment tool for local businesses to be able to offer something to their new employees and help incentivize those new employees to come on board as well.”

Bello said that enough funding has been allocated for this pilot program to allow 50 recent graduates to participate.

It’s up to the employer to apply for the program on behalf of an employee they’re hiring to bring in.

Bello spoke in front of the Innovation Square building downtown, where developer Evan Gallina said they plan to have more than 400 students living there by the end of the year.

Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said that with local employers in need of talent more than ever, the RETAIN program will provide another incentive to attract and keep skilled graduates in the region.

Alex Crichton is host of All Things Considered on WXXI-FM 105.9/AM 1370. Alex delivers local news, weather and traffic reports beginning at 4 p.m. each weekday.