Another look at young professionals

12 Oct

The Young and the Restless

Creative Tampa Bay (CTB) formed in 2004 after Richard Florida spoke in Tampa on “The Rise of the Creative Class.” Florida noted that cities that have a large population of talented, creative, young professionals thrive economically. As a result, CTB conducted “The Young and the Restless,” a study that asked young professionals new to the area why they moved here, what they liked and didn’t like, and developed calls to action as a result. Many of those calls to action have been acted upon and are still successful today.

Another look

Last year, CTB decided to follow up on the notion of attracting and retaining young, creative talent and asked a team of graduate business students from the University of South Florida to conduct an exercise for a brand management course. The task was to identify a brand for the Tampa Bay region, based on the principles of a creative economy. The target audience was young, college-educated professionals working in (or wanting to work in) creative industries. Qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with the target audience, including both residents and non-residents. Specifically, the students were asked to look beyond the obvious to find the “quintessential experience” of young professionals in Tampa Bay. What do we have that other communities don’t? What is it that keeps talented, creative professionals here, and how can we build upon that to attract more of the same?

The results
Click here for a full summary

What do young professionals like about Tampa Bay?
Beaches, weather, variety of activities, people, arts scene

What would they change?
Lack of public transportation, sprawl, needs more identity

What is their quintessential experience?
Guavaween, Gasparilla, running on Bayshore Blvd.

What differentiates Tampa Bay from other regions?
Variety of activities, niche neighborhoods, thriving young arts scene

Calls to action:

  • Strengthen infrastructure
  • Create a one-stop place for events and activities
  • More grass roots campaigns
  • Collaboration
  • Improve transportation
  • Keep local artists here

Creative Tampa Bay’s take: Tampa Bay has a lot to offer creative people of any age, but there seems to be a general lack of knowledge about our local assets. We are here to support any efforts to remedy this. Contact us if you have ideas or would like to participate in our efforts. We would love to hear about other grass roots organizations celebrating the positive things about our region!

by: Megan Hendricks, buzz editor, Creative Tampa Bay
Also published in Creative Tampa Bay’s buzz, October 13, 2010 

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