Press-Republican

Sunday

March 24, 2013

Young professionals offer suggestions for growing area

PLATTSBURGH — After a decade of living and working in Manhattan, Joshua Kretser returned to the North Country as a young entrepreneur and started P.O.D. Studio.

For him, it was refreshing and helpful to come home to family, friends and a business community.

“I think we have a lot going for us, being able to attract and maintain young professionals,” Kretser said.

Another young professional who left and came back to the area is Sarah Stansbury, an associate broker at Tahy Real Estate Group.

“I think we start to take for grated the beauty of the surrounding lakes and mountains until we come back,” she said.

Erin McGill, a first-grade teacher at Bailey Avenue Elementary School, grew up in Plattsburgh but left to start her teaching career at a reading institute in California and Texas. She moved back for a teaching position at Bailey Avenue Elementary.

FINDING JOBS

McGill feels a new business prospective is needed in order to attract younger people to the area.

“People who will stay here is key,” she said. “A lot of younger people are leaving the area because there just aren’t jobs.”

Increasing job availability in local communities is important, according to Tim McCormick, an accountant at McCormick & Deon, because for many people, finding that first job can be a challenge.

“It’s difficult for a lot of people to find work in the North Country,” he said. “However, it’s not impossible.”

Many young professionals also experience difficulty finding careers associated with their education level, said Mark Tiffer, the City of Plattsburgh Ward 2 councilor.

“Our goal should be attracting a large employer with careers and sustaining salaries,” he said.

While Tiffer is grateful for the businesses that do populate the area, he said, “We have to diversify if we’re going to stay relevant, thrive and grow.”

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