Engaging a city, building a community

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By Efrem Bycer for The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee |

Indianapolis has the potential to become one of the most civically engaged cities in America. Currently, Indianapolis ranks 16th, placing it behind many of its peer metros, including Charlotte, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville and St. Louis. To break into the top 10, Indianapolis may seek to apply successful practices in these cities.

This report aims to identify those replicable practices and provide recommendations for short-term and long-term strategies to improve volunteerism, especially among young professionals.

Young professionals, or Millennials, are a focus of this report because of the key role this generation plays in supplying talent to the region’s leading companies. The youngest generation of the workforce, Millennials are staying single longer and waiting until later in life to have children. On one hand, they have time early in their careers to get engaged in the community. On the other, they are an increasingly mobile generation able to move from one city to another

for professional opportunities or a change of pace. Civic engagement and volunteering play key roles in helping this generation develop an attachment to place, a key indicator of an individual’s likelihood to move. This makes volunteerism an important component of any comprehensive talent attraction and retention strategy.

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