The Future Workforce is Choosing Downtown Denver
Downtown Denver is a magnet for the future workforce, says new research report by the Downtown Denver Partnership.
The Downtown Denver Partnership released a new research report, Downtown Denver: A Magnet for the Future Workforce, this week at the 2012 Rocky Mountain West Urban Leadership Symposium in Denver. The report details city building efforts—including amenities, transportation infrastructure, educated population, residential growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and emerging green economy—that make the urban core of the Mile High City an attractive place for a new generation of workers. The report also discusses strengths and opportunities for Downtown Denver.
Denver appears to be well positioned to reap the economic benefits of the millennial generation, in large part because of our community’s long-term commitment to comprehensive and collaborative planning that strengthens the center city.
A recent report by the Brookings Institution analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data notes, “To the extent they are moving at all, young adults are headed to metro areas which are known to have a certain vibe—college towns, high-tech centers, and so-called ‘cool cities.’” These cool cities are places where “it is easier to consume less and live more sustainably.” They are places with transportation infrastructure, an educated population, and innovative business climates. Brookings goes on to name Denver as the number-one city in terms of attracting the future workforce from around the country to live and work.
Nationally, employers recognize that the millennial generation is more likely to choose to live and work in or near an urban center. Mountains and oceans have become secondary to downtown amenities. In response, strategically minded companies are leveraging downtown locations or proximity to downtown to attract and retain candidates. This is important to entire metropolitan areas because downtowns are, and will continue to be, hubs of economic activity.
Tami Door, President & CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, said, “It used to be, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ It is now, ‘If we build the right place, they will stay.’ Employers in Denver tell us that during the interview process, candidates are asking questions beyond benefits and salaries. They ask about the vitality of the city center, culture and amenities, including if an area is walkable or there are continuous bike lanes and bike paths to get them between home and work. Building both tangible and intangible infrastructure—including fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where innovation and entrepreneurship are valued—is a regional economic development tool.”