Meet ATLeaders: Metro Atlanta Chamber’s first young professional council

May 26, 2016

Hear about a big party at Ponce City Market last night? It was the official launch of ATLeaders, and a whole lot of the startup community was there.You’ve heard it many times before – the American workforce is shifting. With an increasing amount of baby boomers facing retirement age, companies and businesses must focus on attracting and retaining the talent of the two younger generations (Gen X and Millennials) to lead their businesses, and rely on many more of them to start their own. In fact, by 2020, projections indicate that 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Gen X and Millennials. We are taking over the world, y'all.Unfortunately, a majority of young professionals, including 63% of Millennials, believe they are not being fully developed as leaders, and that not enough is being done to ensure that they will be ready to assume the responsibilities handed to them. The result? Companies are beginning to experience much higher turnover rates among young professionals (average tenure for a Millennial? Only two years) as they seek to find opportunities in companies, ecosystems, and cities that offer access to mentors and provide them with the chance to find their purpose and passion. It is one of the many reasons so many millennials are attracted to Atlanta's vibrant and growing startup community,Today, more young professionals than ever before are calling Atlanta home. We have been recognized as the #2 city for Millennials, the #4 metro area with the fastest growing young population, and it’s no surprise that today’s Atlantans are experiencing an exceptional quality of life and unlimited opportunity. Atlanta is also ranked the #3 city with the most Fortune 500 headquarters, providing endless opportunities for young professionals in the public and private sectors. With an affordable business climate, and vibrant communities like Atlanta Tech Village, it’s an ideal place for young entrepreneurs to launch their startup.Ultimately, Atlanta is truly a city where young professionals can come and make their mark. In fact, many young professionals are already taking leadership positions in Atlanta’s business and civic sectors. For example, Matt Westmoreland won a seat on Atlanta’s school board before turning 30, and there were five Atlantans on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list, including two female tech entrepreneurs, Candace Mitchell and Jewel Burks.In order for this environment to continue to thrive we must ensure that Atlanta’s young professionals are cultivated for success. And it’s up to us – today’s leaders to do so, as everything we do now plays a role in the future prosperity of our city.That is why last night, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) launched ATLeaders. ATLeaders is the first council in MAC’s history comprised solely of young professionals under 40 and is focused on building Atlanta's business community and creating social impact – specifically in the areas of access to transit and food security. I am proud to personally serve on this committee and be a part of creating a community of Atlanta's best young leaders, many who our entrepreneurs in our tech community! It was a great night full of drinks, live art, food, king of pops, music, and 500+ people on the rooftop of Ponce City Market.See below for some photos of last night’s pretty epic launch party, and be sure to follow @ATLeaders to stay connected and learn more!

ATLeaders Infographic
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May 26, 2016
Karen Houghton