Terre Haute leaders look to retain young adults to preserve population

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo County and the City of Terre Haute are facing a potential 1.8% population decline in the coming years.

The ‘See You in Terre Haute 2025’ strategic plan was unveiled in August, with the goal to find solutions to reverse the possibility.

One of the solutions is working to retain the area’s young talent.

In Terre Haute and Vigo County, the 18 to 25-year-old demographic accounts for around 15% of the population, compared to 9% in the state of Indiana. This is mostly due to the local colleges in the Terre Haute area.

Some students and young adults said there’s potential in the area to keep them around.

“We have the arts and culture, we have the museums, we have things to do on the weekend. I just think sometimes we lack the communication of getting that information out,” said Abby Desboro of Terre Haute Young Leaders.

One of the ways young adults said it can be done is through better job opportunities.

“If i’m driving through Terre Haute and I can see a sign of a company that is known for its innovation, I’d be willing to go to that company wherever it is, said Rose-Hulman student, Jacob Oblazny.

Young adults said they would also like to see more ways created for them to get directly involved in the local community.

“I think that it’s kind of a preconceived notion that millennials and younger people don’t care about our community, but really what I see working with the young leaders group is they really want to invest in our community. They want to volunteer, they want to give back, but they just kind of want to do it in their own way,” Desboro said.

Others remain optimistic about what the city can become.

“I think Terre Haute has a lot of room for opportunity. There’s a lot of stuff here already, but there’s a lot more room to grow,” said Kramer.

A task force dedicated to talent attraction and retention has been created as part of the ‘See You in Terre Haute’ strategic plan.

Its purpose is to help create a lifestyle conducive to young, working professionals in the city.

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