Each and every day, we work toward a brighter future. Whether we realize it or not, we are building Manatee County up for future generations that will inherit our wonderful community. It is part of our civic duty to not only make our area the best it can be, but to train and educate our future leaders so they are able to continue on the path of success.
With retirement on the horizon for many baby boomers and with general turnover, it is estimated that 73 percent of Manatee County government's workforce will be replaced in the next five years. Manatee County government has not been shy about tackling the impending labor shortage challenge head on. They were quick to discover that millennials are projected to surpass the baby boomer generation as the largest living population in the United States in addition to being the most educated generation. Attracting millennials to our community is crucial to our long-term success. This led to the formation of the Manatee Millennial Movement (M3), a group made up of millennial employees from different departments within Manatee County government.
Together, this team has been at the forefront of addressing major issues such as millennials involvement with civic engagement, developing affordable work force housing, and job creation. With the success of their #ISeeManatee event this fall, they gathered important information and opened the dialogue about how to transform our area into a thriving place where millennials will want to work, play and live.
M3 is building upon its success with the first millennial conference coming to the Bradenton Area Convention Center April 1-3. This conference will attract millennials from around Florida to discuss topics geared toward their generation such as housing, networking, financial stability, entrepreneurship and how to take ownership in their community. This inaugural conference also will provide a backdrop for discussions on how to grow the millennial workforce in Manatee County government from 17 percent to 25 percent.
We are proud to play a small part in this innovative weekend, which will include keynote speakers, workshops and breakout sessions at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. We want to start shaping our millennials for future roles as leaders who will inherit the county and continue to transform our area. Our biggest goal with
this conference is to expose millennials to Manatee County with the hope that they will want to return to play, live and work in the hospitality industry in Manatee County after experiencing it firsthand. Just as our visitors come here and return 94 percnet of the time, we know once millennials experience the friendly communities, diverse attractions and beaches and parks, they will be hooked.
I applaud the M3 group for its efforts to develop strong leaders who will then provide political and social engagement to Manatee County through dialogue, educational programs, involvement, partnerships and special events. I have no doubt this event is just the beginning of a bigger movement and this conference will grow into a longer, national conference attracting millennials from across the nation to the Bradenton area. If you are interested in learning more about M3 or attending the conference, please visit: mymanatee.org/home/government/county-administration/news-release/News-Releases-2016/0128_-4progressPromo1.html
Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, can be reached at Elliott.Falcione@BACVB.com or 941.729.9177 x222.