BC’s Young & Restless

The British Columbia Technology Industry Association is tackling the challenges of attracting young technology professionals to work in BC and have imported a thought-leader on this topic for their Techforum luncheon this Tuesday.

Portland’s Joe Cortright, co-author of two thought-provoking publications – CityVitals and The Young and Restless – will share his insights on talent migration and the strategies that US-based tech industries and regions have undertaken to improve their ability to attract the highly sought-after 25–34 year-old demographic.

These young adults are the best educated most productive and most flexible American workers. They are also the most mobile. And the US has nearly 4 million fewer 25 to 34 year molds today than it did just a decade ago. Most metropolitan areas are losing population in this key demographic group, but a few select cities are gaining young workers.

The Young and Restless research charts the movements of 25 to 34 year-olds among metro areas and analyze the factors shaping which metros are gaining and which are losing young workers. We identify the principal factors attracting college-educated young adults to cities and identify the policy implications for metropolitan development.

Gillian Shaw of the Vancouver Sun wrote about this particular challenge today and wonders aloud if the opening of Microsoft’s development centre in Richmond will draw employees from around the world and increase BC’s talent pool. Shaw thinks the immediate impact will be negative as the software giant grabs top talent from other employers but ultimately the arrival of Microsoft will pay dividends down the road when the expanded talent pool begins to spread to smaller companies.