"It's coming down to jobs, and it's coming down to educational opportunities, and it's coming down to debt payments," said Jeremy Cooney '10 in a recent interview with the Albany Times Union. "They've got $100,000 in debt, and they say, 'I have to take that job in Philadelphia because I can't wait 30 years to pay this off.'"
Cooney was recently appointed to New York State's Young Leaders Congress, which has partnered with Empire State Development (ESD) to develop and implement a multi-pronged initiative to retain young professional talent within the state's borders. He is one of three students on the 17-member organization.
The Young Leaders Congress was formed as a result of the I Live New York Summit, which convened more than 600 key stakeholders at the State University of New York at Cortland in fall 2007. This statewide group is comprised of young leaders who are applying creative solutions to stem the state's net loss of young people and to make New York State a more attractive place to live and work.
ESD has partnered with the Young Leaders Congress to launch three programs designed to curtail the "brain drain" in New York State. Together, the groups will support regional marketing with an online jobs and internship portal; develop a start-up program to grow young professionals organizations; and implement a Livable Communities Capacity Grant Program to improve the quality of living for young professionals in urban centers.