Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where have all the Young Professionals gone?

Where have all the Young Professionals gone? Well, nowhere, at least not necessarily and certainly not all of them. Memphis is full of Young Professionals, a thriving group who is active in making the city a better place.

But some of them do leave the city for reasons too many to count. Or maybe not. Maybe the reasons are simple and trivial. Discovering why YPs are leaving the city, that's the mission I now find myself on.

As a board member of MPACT Memphis, an organization devoted to fostering civic, social and cultural engagement in the Memphis community among YPs, I'm on a fact-finding mission to discover why these people important to the betterment of Memphis are leaving. YPs are leaving the city, whether it's for family, jobs, to be closer to the beach or who knows what other reason.

Some are quite valid. How could I possibly argue with someone who needs to live closer to a sick family member? Or maybe someone grew up in Memphis, attended college here and decided they just wanted to try out a different city for a while? I actually did that myself. But I came back.

What about those people out there who moved because of a perceived lack of jobs, lack of confidence in government, concerns over high taxes or unsure about property values? Maybe they were concerned about crime rates.

If we can discover some of the reasons YPs have been leaving Memphis, not to mention some of the reasons others have chosen to stay, maybe we can figure out ways to keep more YPs in town. After all, Memphis can use their creative juices and energy to make this city a better place.

I need your help on this mission. The only people who can tell us why Young Professionals leave Memphis are the YPs themselves. So I need contact information. Your friends, former coworkers, fraternity brothers, cousins, brothers, sisters -- anyone in the 20- to 40-year-old range who has moved from Memphis I need your help in getting in touch with them. If I could send them just a few questions asking their thoughts about leaving the city, it could go a long way in helping us find ways in the future to keep YPs like them here.

So post on this blog, tweet me or send me an e-mail at or

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