Young People, Don't Go!

CT has lost more of our 25-34-year-olds since 1990 than any state but Michigan

Where We Live: Young People, Don't Go!
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Where We Live: Young People, Don't Go!

Connecticut has lost more of our 25-34-year-old population since 1990 than any state but Michigan.

I’m no demographer - but that’s not good.

Of course, big population shifts are happening around the country as baby-boomers retire – but Connecticut is poised for the most hardship, unless we turn this around quickly.

Today we revisit the on-going conversation about how to keep young people in the state...and how to get more to come here.  This means jobs, entertainment, affordable housing…what else?

We’ll check in with the Partnership for Strong Communities who have been running focus groups and held a recent forum on the topic.

And, we’ll check in with one of those cool young people who left for Seattle - what do they have that we dont?

And, we want to hear from you. Are you between the ages of 25 and 34. Do you like living in Connecticut? What are you looking for in a place to live?



Listener Email from Carl

Hello, I had to pull over and email you on this subject, as it's been on my mind especially as I enter the time in my life where I'm looking to put down some roots. The major drawback to CT in my opinion is its lack of artistic support. I play in a band, and when we play concerts it's primarily in MASS, NY, and RI. Unfortunately, the fact is that there isn't much here to do on a weekend night as far as seeing live music or theater. There are very few places to see our local talent, but the support just isnt there. When I think of CT, I think of insurance companies, rich people, and homes that cost half as much elsewhere. As to why I stay here, I'm finding fewer and fewer reasons everyday.
Local art and music is a major part of what makes up an areas culture, it just seems that CT refuses to nurture its artists, musicians, and actors.

Listener Email from Peter

New Haven could easily become a destination city if only Yale saw its own self-interest in longer terms. The blocks around the Green that are now a near wasteland could be filled with housing for Yale staff and graduate students, the downtown could be filled with people every day and night. But Yale invests very cautiously, despite its billions, and suffers from the bad reputation of its city.

Listener Email from Paul

I just moved from NYC last year to take a job in Danbury CT, and as a young 32 year old professional, I will be moving out of Danbury and CT as soon as I find a job back in NYC, Boston or some other walkable big city on the east coast. The only real city in CT is New Haven. If I find a job in New Haven, I might stay, but I want to leave for a better bigger city. Concerning cost, I'd rather have a roommate and live in NYC or Boston, than live alone in boring Danbury and Connecticut.

Listener Email from Maureen

I’m 46. I was born in Torrington and raised in North Canaan, CT. I attended college in Hartford. I have a dance/ marketing/ entertainment business background. I spent 18-years of my adult life in West Palm Beach, FL, but am currently living in Torrington again. While in FL, I worked in concert promotion, produced fairs and festivals, was involved in real estate development in downtown West Palm Beach and was part of the CT-based, Toad’s Place franchise effort.

When I landed back in Torrington in 2009, I was shocked and disappointed to find that Torrington, like Willimantic and other select CT cities, was drab, boring and unchanged. The exudes of manufacturing jobs, the aftermath of the great flood and the majority mentality of keeping everything as it is/was, still dictates all aspects of the community, job market and day to day life. I, like many transplants I talk too, question the decision that, lead us to live here.

Torrington is uniquely positioned to become a creative, artistic, thriving hub. The downtown offers untapped resources, includes an historical landmark theater and poorly designed, under utilized river front. Parking lots and vacant store fronts sit empty along with a centrally located park and civic center hall.

Torrington used to be known for its family neighborhoods and industrious base. Now, so much of what is/was can’t be seen beneath the rubble of it ruins and depressed socioeconomic makeup. Despite an exceptional school/ community music program and active youth sports programs, this small rural town offers little for today’s young adults and engaged, progressive commuters.

I witnessed and participated in the revitalization efforts of Downtown West Palm Beach. I was part of the entertainment elements that created destination-oriented establishments and events there. The public-private partnerships that came together allowed Wets Palm Beach to reinvent itself. As it did so, more private investment came. More housing came. More jobs came and more interesting, quality civic and culturally minded folks relocated to the area.

Single, stand alone efforts are a waste of time, money and energy. It takes a multi-phase, series of projects, mixed-use residential, entertainment, culinary, and unique or cultural specific retail designed to jumpstart a rebranding of a city. In a town like Torrington, it will also require family-friendly activities hubs to round out an effective design. I’d like to see Torrington rise from the dust and reinvent itself into the center of Litchfield County; become a destination for the region and help it to celebrate and prosper once again.