Empowering Thriving Cities Through Talent: Young Smart & Local Conference

Sponsored: Dedicated to cultivating diverse talent for economic growth, the YSL network will hold its third annual conference in New Orleans this November. Register now and contribute to the success of your city's future!

The Young Smart & Local (YSL) network, dedicated to cultivating diverse talent for economic growth, is gearing up for its highly anticipated third annual conference in New Orleans, LA, scheduled for November 13-15, 2023. This three-day event has evolved into an invaluable platform, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among leaders across various sectors.

Launched in 2019 with a national conference in Philadelphia, YSL has swiftly expanded its reach, now counting over 900 professionals in economic development, city government, higher education, and business among its ranks. Co-founded and led by visionaries Deborah Diamond, former President of Campus Philly, and Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director of Action Greensboro, the network offers a unique learning ecosystem. It provides professional development opportunities, facilitates the exchange of best practices, and connects individuals dedicated to driving economic growth through talent attraction, development, inclusion, and retention.

According to Diamond, “Philadelphia’s efforts to develop and retain locally educated college talent were gaining attention in many cities across the country. We created Young Smart and Local because we realized that cities can learn from each other rather than compete to retain and nurture talent.”

YSL’s mission recognizes that cities, regardless of their size, employ distinct strategies to nurture their talent pipelines. These strategies encompass engaging and retaining students studying at local institutions and supporting underserved talent within communities. As cities grapple with these challenges, YSL has emerged as a vital platform for knowledge sharing and collaborative problem-solving.

The upcoming conference promises an immersive experience that empowers attendees to shape the future of their cities. Keynote addresses and breakout sessions will explore a wide array of topics, including:

  1. The Future of Work: A comprehensive exploration of how cities, businesses, and talent are reimagining work in the modern era.

  2. National Trends and Best Practices: Insights into the latest trends, forecasts, and best practices in talent attraction, development, retention, and migration.

  3. City as Campus: Strategies to leverage city assets as part of college students’ educational experience and to connect graduates with local job opportunities.

  4. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility: A focus on promoting DEI&A in growing cities, fostering a more inclusive environment, and supporting underserved populations.

  5. Measuring Talent Impact: Techniques and methodologies for benchmarking and measuring the impact of talent initiatives.

  6. Tourism, Placemaking, and Talent Marketing: Exploring how cities can collaborate on tourism, placemaking, and talent marketing initiatives to attract and retain talent.

With an esteemed lineup of national speakers and thought leaders, the 2023 conference promises to be a pivotal event for those committed to the growth and prosperity of their cities. It’s an opportunity to learn, network, and collaborate with professionals from diverse backgrounds who share a common goal: building thriving cities by attracting, nurturing, and retaining talent.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this transformative event. Register now and contribute to the success of your city’s future. For more information, please visit youngsmartandlocal.com.

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Young Smart and Local is a network of more than 50 cities working to build diverse young talent through the engagement, inclusion and retention of college students and young professionals. Young Smart and Local was co-founded and is managed by Deborah Diamond, former President of Campus Philly and Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director of Action Greensboro. 

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