A theme of this and past elections has been the need to retain and attract young professionals to our city. When candidates were asked how, the answers have been simplistic and vague to the point that SHIFT (Young Professionals Network) have indicated their concerns about the lack of clear ideas and plans from our political leaders.
Many professionals are already returning to Thunder Bay with the desire to make a difference in the future of our city. The focus of this discussion should be on prospects and job opportunities; the strengths and weaknesses of the city and region; what can the city do (or needs to do) to retain or attract back its youth, and how can these professionals participate.
Within this context, there are specific areas of opportunities that we can focus on. Some of these are summarized below:
- A one-stop-shop point of contact in the city (the Young Professionals Network is ideally suited for this purpose).
- Promote and facilitate the return of professionals for business succession planning (aging baby boomers and retirements, not enough entrepreneurs ready to take over);
- Matching of human resources with future business and job opportunities in emerging sectors like Green Economy, Bio-Economy; Clean Technology, etc.
- The emergence of the creative class (research and innovation, arts and culture, etc. are bringing a new paradigm shift).
The need to re-position Thunder Bay and region for the future should be a primary goal of City Council and as your Mayor, I will continue to support young professionals and help pave the way for a new generation of leaders.