Keeping young professionals in WMass

Many pursue employment elsewhere after graduation

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts is known for its great colleges and quality education however young professionals often leave the area in search for employment elsewhere.

They say many young people are attracted to schools like UMass Amherst and the Western New England College. The problem is that after they graduate, job opportunities in Boston, New York and other urban areas draw them away.

So young professional groups are brainstorming with lawmakers on ways to make Western Massachusetts a more attractive place to live and work.

“We can continue to stress innovation with the Holyoke computer center coming online and the technical high school data coming on. We can stress the tech sector,” said Jack Toner, director of the Springfield Young Professionals Society Board.

“We’re working on legislation with the gate way cities caucus, trying to come up with ideas to help cities such as Springfield and Holyoke and Chicopee and Westfield to help them with programs to retain businesses and actually attract businesses in Western Mass,” said Senator James Welch of West Springfield.

Young professionals add that public safety is also a concern. They want crime and poverty reduced to make Springfield a safer place to work and raise young families.