October 18, 2007

Good not good enough when it comes to attracting and retaining the next generation

(HALIFAX) October 18, 2007 – A recent survey of young professionals (YPs) indicates that our community has a ways to go in becoming a talent magnet city.

The survey, commissioned by the Greater Halifax Partnership, outlines a number of challenges faced by young professionals in our community and those who have left. They include:

  • Only 58 per cent of YPs believe Halifax is a community in which they can afford to live, work, and play;
  • Only 31 per cent of YPs believe Halifax offers a broad range of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities; and
  • Halifax YPs say family and quality of life keep them here or has convinced them to move back
  • Lack of career growth is the number one reason YPs leave Halifax.

The Greater Halifax Partnership engaged Next Generation Consulting Inc. to determine what matters most to young professionals when determining a place to live. A survey conducted among nearly 700 young professionals, allowed NGC to ‘handprint’ Greater Halifax in seven indexes - Vitality, Earning, Learning, Social Capital, Cost of Lifestyle, After Hours, and Around Town.

Results of the survey were discussed by Rebecca Ryan, Founder of Next Generation Consulting Inc. (NGC) at an event earlier today. Ms. Ryan, a world leader in helping communities become magnets for young professionals, presented “Measuring the Halifax Handprint” – her findings of Greater Halifax’s strengths and liabilities with respect to attracting and retaining the next generation.

“Halifax has many of the assets – the raw material – that can make it a global next generation city and magnet for young talent,” says Rebecca Ryan. “But Halifax must begin to embrace and engage it’s young and talented in the growth process.”

“We realize that the status quo is not an option. Halifax is a good city right now. We’ve got a healthy economy that’s growing at a solid rate. We score really well on the things that knowledge workers are looking for in a place to live,” says Peter Moorhouse, Director of Investor Relations at the Greater Halifax Partnership.

“But, good isn’t good enough. Great is what we’re striving for,” Mr. Moorhouse continues.

“We have done our research, and we’re moving forward. We are committed to making this the best city in Canada for a young professional to live, to work, to play, and to build their life and their career,” he says.

The Partnership is the public-private economic growth organization for Greater Halifax. Our focus is our businesses, our people, our community. We bring together all three levels of government, more than 150 private-sector investors and many different community groups to drive economic growth in our region.

Next Generation Consulting Inc. is a market research firm of smart, balanced people committed to building better places to live and work. They work primarily with companies who want to become great places to work for the next generation, communities that want to attract and keep young professionals, and arts organizations that want to develop younger audiences.

- 30 -

For more information on the Greater Halifax Partnership, please visit www.greaterhalifax.com.

For more information on Next Generation Consulting Inc., please visit www.nextgenerationconsulting.com.