Windsor is losing part of its future
Part 3 in CBC Windsor's series No Place Like Home, a look at the city's generation Y
Windsor is losing part of its future. Statistics show young people are leaving the city at an alarming rate.
Between 2003 and 2008, Windsor had a net migration loss of more than 6,600 people between the ages 18 and 44.
Those numbers equate to missed opportunities and untapped economic potential for the city, according to the regional economic development corporation.
"We really need to be diligent about tapping into ... our youth," said Karolyn Hart of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation. "And we want them to know that we are excited you're here and we are here to work along side of you. We want to ... unleash you and we want that to happen here."
Join the Conversation This is the third story in CBC Windsor's No Place Like Home series, an in-depth local look at the city's generation Y.
Join the conversation on Twitter #cbcwdr or by logging onto cbc.ca/windsor and Facebook to discuss how Windsor can attract and retain the best and brightest millennials.
Several local groups are working together to stop the brain drain.
A group called GenNext organized a gathering of young professionals earlier this week. It was a chance for young, ambitious professionals to network and discuss how to better engage the community.
A group called Workforce Windsor-Essex is busy trying to link young people with local jobs so they don't get away.
"You want people [here] during the age when they are forming a household because that's when they've got to buy the house all the baby stuff and they're buying their career wardrobes," Donna Marentette of Workforce Windsor-Essex said.
Karolyn Hart says surveys show generation Y is a largely entrepreneurial group and small business is the back bone of the economy.
"They like to create their own destiny," Hart said. "So one of the things we're looking at is, in conjunction with our small business enterprise centre, is how do we tap into that and and [make them] really understand that in Windsor-Essex, this is a great place if you're an entrepreneur to test it, to be here and to get out there and do those things."
That's precisely what Ben Davidson did. Davidson doesn't just work at Green Bean Cafe. He owns it.
Davidson said Windsor's low rent, low cost of living and lower housing prices, some of the lowest in the country, means young people can take bigger business risks.
Davidson moved to Windsor from northern Ontario at 16. He eventually fell in love with the city. But it took a while.
"To be honest my plan was, when we moved here, was that as soon as I'm done school or as soon as I get the chance, I'm out of here," the university grad said.
He's now confident more millennials will eventually stay.
"There's a momentum in the city right now. There are young people doing things in the city," he said from his bustling cafe. You're going to come and talk to other people in a couple of years and say, 'how is it that so many people are choosing to come to this city?'"
With files from Allison Johnson