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Putting a stop to 'brain drain'

Finding ways to reduce the number of young professionals who leave Central New York is more difficult than it sounds.

But, in searching for a way to stop the exodus, members of the Assembly gathered with professionals from area businesses and educational institutions on Sept. 10 at the Welch Allyn Lodge in Skaneateles Falls. The think tank allowed for Assemblymen Jack Quinn, R,C,I-Hamburg, Will Barclay, R,C,I-Pulaski, and Joseph Giglio, R,I,C-Gowanda, to hear ideas on retaining youth from more than 20 people, including young professionals who have remained in Central New York or left the area and come back.

Barclay, a father of two under the age of 10, said that when he ran for Assembly, he did so on a platform with his children in mind.

"I wanted to make sure there was opportunity for them," he said, adding that enough has not been done to retain the young people in Central New York.

By bringing the RemaiNY taskforce to the area, there was hope to tackle issues that young professionals are dealing with.

"We get our best ideas from you," Giglio said to the group. "We will hopefully come up with some ideas on how to stop the brain drain."

For Quinn, coming from the Buffalo area, it was interesting to see that so many of the issues being dealt with in his district are also being dealt with in Central New York and the Southern Tier. According to Quinn it's his generation of adults and young adults, the 20- and 30-somethings, who are leaving New York in search of careers and better economic situations.

"In developing a solution, the solution has to be something that's practiced," said Jack Boyce, director of staffing solutions at Welch Allyn. "The issue is, perception is reality."

According to Boyce, there are more than 22,000 job openings within a 100-mile radius of Syracuse and its surrounding communities. However, "it's 22,000 jobs students aren't interested in."

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