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A Local Young Professional Shares his Job Search Journey

By Molly Darrow.
Why do some young professionals choose to leave the Southern Tier after graduation? What would make them stay?

According to U.S. Census figures, Broome County's population is on the decline. It dropped from more than 200,000 people in 2010 to just over 197,000 people in 2014. Officials say the decline is due to an aging population and the desires of many for warmer weather.

What are young professionals saying about staying in the area?

Fox 40 met Binghamton native, and recent SUNY Albany graduate, Emilio Colón at a career fair at the Oakdale Mall in December. He said his plans were to stay in the area for now, in order to save money.

Despite qualifications, like being a basketball team manager for four years, his dream of finding a local full-time job in college athletics wasn’t coming easy. He didn’t even make it to the interview process after handing in his resumé to local universities.

“I didn’t think it was going to be that hard, but I found out that it was,” said Colón.

Emilio’s friend from high school, Trudy Redzich, said she needs to go to a bigger city to work in her dream political career.

“There’s really not a lot of opportunity around here for that," said Redzich, "Especially in the types of campaigns that I would want to work on."

At this time, Emilio is living with his father Ernesto Colón in Endwell. Ernesto retired locally after working with UPS for 33 years.

He believes it's hard for the younger generation to pursue a similar career path.

“You had Universal, you had IBM. So this was a place buzzing and bubbling with jobs and opportunities," he said. "That’s no longer true."

However, opportunity did knock in its own way. It came through the resumé drop box from December’s career fair.

Foresters Financial in Endicott offered Emilio a job. He started that job last Monday.

It’s not college athletics, but Emilio says that's okay. He's happy to have landed his first full-time job out of college.

Unlike others who have been forced to find work elsewhere, Emilio is staying here.