Spokane goes recruiting – In search of young professionals – Employers face boomer retirements, recruit in California

Bethany Luck-Hutson says many young professionals here say they’ve moved to Spokane within the past five years.

Last month, representatives from Greater Spokane Incorporated and several Spo­kane-area companies trav­eled to Southern California looking to strike it rich. But unlike the gold rush of the 1800s, they were mining for workers, not precious metals.

In anticipation of the coming wave of baby boomer retirements, companies here say they’re searching here and in other markets such as Los Angeles for employees to fill expected gaps in their work forces. One of the demographics they’re particularly seeking to attract and retain is what Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) calls the Emerging Professional group, which includes much-coveted young adults up to 25 years old.

Spokane-area businesses say they want to find and groom young workers to assume greater leadership responsibilities after the boomers retire. One of the obstacles standing in their way, however, are companies in larger metropolitan areas such as Seattle that beckon college graduates away with the lure of higher salaries and big-city life.

By Emily Proffitt

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