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What Will Keep Young Professionals in Area?

By Jason Weinstein.
When it comes to young people staying in the area or choosing to leave, it's no surprise what the biggest factor is.

"Ultimately most of my friends are planning to leave the area and looking elsewhere for jobs," said Chenango Bridge native and Binghamton University senior Kat Kunkel.

This panel of four Binghamton University students included people from our area, Syracuse, Hudson Valley, and Westchester County. Their majors include occupational therapy, engineering, and psychology. They feel there are jobs available locally in those fields, and are open to staying.

"I think Binghamton, especially for engineers has a lot of opportunities," said Kingston, NY native and Binghamton University sophomore Molly Santoroski.
But they were less optimistic for young, educated people who aren't going into high-demand fields.

"There are a lot of fields that are pretty dominant in this area and I'd imagine someone who had a Liberal Arts degree would struggle in finding jobs. There's tons of retail jobs, there's tons of food service jobs but somebody with a Bachelor's Degree may not be happy doing that for their entire life," said Kunkel.

They also express concern about the safety of some parts of the area.

"If it were safe and made to look better that might be an incentive for people to say," said Binghamton University junior and Westchester County native Mallory Cohen.

One way to get people more interested in the area is to show them more parts of it.

"Showing my friends the hidden gems. Most students don't make their way to Endicott and there are amazing restaurants out there, and lovely shops," said Kunkel.

"I'm not even sure where Endicott is. I haven't been past the Wal-Mart on the Vestal Parkway. It would be cool if Binghamton did a tour of the town," said Santoroski.

While there may not be tours, there are efforts to engage young people in Binghamton. "Even from when I first started school I've seen a tremendous growth in a young community. I have hope. I'm not sure if it will prosper," said Kunkel.

"I just recently attended my first First Friday. I've never seen anything like all the open galleries. So many people going and observing art," said Santoroski.

"Binghamton does Restaurant Week and that's your way to find hidden gems. It has attraction to young people. It's not quite there but it's working on it."