As a young professional who loves Erie, I'm excited that the Erie Times-News and GoErie.com have invited members of Young Erie Professionals to regularly write opinion articles on their concerns.
Since January, YEP's leadership team has rebranded the organization and has been looking for ways that our voice can be heard throughout the community on topics that are relevant and of importance to us and the greater community. What better way than to have an article in our local paper that is dedicated to our opinions and views? We plan to use this platform to convey fresh ideas and a positive perspective to help shape Erie's future.
As an organization, we are working together to provide more opportunities for young people in Erie to display their involvement in community issues. Gone are the early days of YEP, when members would occasionally get together to network over cocktails. We want to be a part of the transformation and revolution happening in our city and region and will strive to help lead that conversation. More than half a billion dollars will be invested in our community over the next several years. Since we (and our children) will be the ones who may benefit the most from the long-term effects of today's decisions, it's only sensible that our voices be heard.
One of my goals as president of this organization is to help attract and retain young people in Erie. Having young talent matters! If we want companies to invest and bring their businesses to Erie, we need to be able to provide them with the skilled workforce needed to grow their businesses.
It most certainly starts in the schools, and we need to work together to identify the necessary skills for today and tomorrow's workforce to close the skills gap. But it also lies in the quality of our location. We are a college town and have many students living and learning in our community. They are looking for a valuable community experience as much as they are looking for the right jobs to fulfill their career goals. The experience students at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mercyhurst University and Penn State Behrend have while they are enrolled here is critical to helping them make the decision to stay and grow their careers and families in Erie.