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Millennials Matter

Posted by: Angie Prather on Thursday, January 14, 2016
The Wichita Community Foundation’s Focus Forward initiative has triggered a number of important discussions about Wichita’s future. The first step in this multi-year project for advancing the region's economic growth was a community diagnosis by James Chung, a Wichita native with Reach Advisors. Chris Callen, CEO of Builders Plus Construction, pictured right) answers questions following his presentation about Millennials. Chris Callen (pictured right) answers questions following his presentation about Millennials. Chung developed his initial diagnosis last fall and shared it with multiple Wichita audiences. He identified four specific challenges that he believes require the community’s immediate attention:
  • business cycle
  • entrepreneurial
  • human capital
  • perception
Chris Callen, CEO of Builders Plus Construction, was among those Wichitans inspired by Chung’s presentation. Callen decided to dive deeper into these issues and gathered additional research regarding two of those areas: human capital and perception. He shared his findings at the Chamber’s January 13 Sunrise Scrambler with a presentation titled, Who are Millennials and Why Does it Matter? The research Callen assembled included the results from a 2015 survey conducted by the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) about how millennials perceive Wichita and the factors that influence their decisions about where to live. Callen drew from Haydn Shaw’s book, Sticking Points: How to get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart, for tips on how to attract and retain millennials. Callen’s presentation was an important extension of the discussions that have taken place across the city following Chung’s presentations last fall. Chamber Chairman Barry Schwan has made the expansion of these discussions one of his priorities for the 2016 Chairman’s Lunch. On February 11, a panel discussion about the four primary challenges Chung identified will be moderated by Chamber President and CEO Gary Plummer. The panel will include 2016 Chamber Chairman Barry Schwan, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, Wichita City Manager Bob Layton, Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Jim Howell and Sedgwick County Manager Michael Scholes. Millennials do matter to our community, as does every generation in our workforce. Understanding how to attract and retain them is of vital interest to regional businesses that require their unique talents to thrive. The work of transforming Wichita from a ‘spot on the map’ to a ‘destination point’ for the area’s most talented employees is underway. We’re fortunate that  young community leaders like Chris are accelerating the discussions about the importance of Wichita’s next steps. Special thanks to the January Sunrise Scrambler event sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Venue 332 at Wichita Scottish Rite Center and Davis-Moore. Important Links -Chris Callen’s presentation - Who are Millennials and Why Does it Matter? -Photos from January Sunrise Scrambler -Registration for February 11 Chairman’s Lunch -Registration for February 17 Sunrise Scrambler


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