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5 Reasons Why a Young Professional Should Live in Hampton Roads

When someone says young professionals, most people think of hotspots like Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA or Austin, TX. All of which are great places to live... but we know of another great choice for young professionals and it's right here in our own backyard. Hampton Roads, VA has just as much, if not more to offer young professionals that chose to live here. From a thriving and diverse job market and low cost of living to a one-of-a-kind culture with endless weekend and nightlife activities, check out these 5 reasons that millennials should be calling Hampton Roads home. 

1. Employers in Hampton Roads are looking to hire millennials now more than ever.
Millennials want jobs and companies want millennials. Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, better known as “the Alliance,” understood this opportunity and has been working hard to connect employers to the region’s talented and knowledgeable young professionals.  In March 2016, the Alliance was proud to announce alongside Governor McAuliffe and the City of Norfolk, the arrival of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP). One of the nation’s largest providers of human resources management software and services (and a Fortune 250 company), ADP selected Hampton Roads as the location of its newest Regional Customer Service Center, a project that will create over 1,800 professional, service-oriented jobs by 2018. In their search, ADP targeted regions with active young professional communities. The liveliness, up-and-coming public transportation, skilled workforce and strong educational institutions found in Hampton Roads were just a few of the reasons why ADP selected Norfolk for its new service center. ADP began hiring young professionals in the region in June and has already reached the capacity of their temporary office space. They will move into their new residence in December and expect to surpass their initial estimates of 1,800 employees (More on this story here).

2. Hampton Roads is known for its uniqueness and diversity.
Hampton Roads encompasses over a dozen cities and counties. Unlike many Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) though, Hampton Roads’ population nucleus is not confined to one central location. Each of the localities possesses unique assets and atmosphere, all connected by world-class, advanced infrastructure. Hampton Roads truly has something for everyone to love; whether it is beach, urban centers, or quiet open spaces.

Hampton Roads’ diversity goes far beyond geography and culture. It can also be seen in the people who call this region home. The Diversity Index is a measure used to represent the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to a different race or ethnic group. On the index, 0 represents no diversity and 100 represents complete diversity. Hampton Roads has a Diversity Index of 61.3.

Another example of Hampton Roads’ diversity is the labor/occupations of its young professionals. The following jobs, which typically require a Bachelor’s degree and pay $20/hour, are frequently held by millennials in the region.

Marketing Specialist      $56,000/YR
Financial Specialist         $72,000/YR
Graphic Designer            $51,000/YR
Software Developer       $92,000/YR
Registered Nurse            $61,000/YR

3. Young professionals account for approximately 43% of the region’s work force.
Out of 835,000 total employees, millennials make up approximately 360,000 of the civilian labor force.  Additionally, a 2014 report ranked Hampton Roads as one of the Top Ten Metro Areas for millennial population growth. Of the 50 cities surveyed, the region had the highest population of individuals age 20-29 at 17% compared to 14% at a national level. Combined, these figures mean that Hampton Roads is a great place for young professionals because it gives them a chance to work with like-minded individuals in a rapidly growing professional environment.

4. Below average cost of living allows for financial independence. 
Hampton Roads has lower than average cost of living at 3-points lower than the national index. While affordability is a concern for all, the increasing cost of higher education plays a huge role in the young professional population. In 2013, the average salary for a college graduate was $45,000. The average amount of student loans, however, was $35,000. Hampton Roads’ low cost of living gives young professionals the opportunity to spend less time worrying about how to pay their debts, and more time enjoying their days.

 5. In Hampton Roads, the fun NEVER ends.
Young professional are known for their active, engaged and social lifestyles. In Hampton Roads, the opportunities are endless for a fun, memorable weekend. Check out a few below! 

Craft Brews:
Hampton Roads is exploding with craft breweries. By our last count, the region had more than 25 local establishments. No matter where you live or work, there's sure to be a locally-owned brewery just down the street. Together with growler filling stations, numerous beer festivals and brewery tours, Hampton Roads is the place to be for beer lovers.

The Great Outdoors: 
Our 2,600 miles of shoreline offer many outdoor activities including swimming, sailing, hiking, surfing, kayaking and more. The fun doesn’t stop with the beach though... We also have campgrounds, adventure parks, rope courses, dog parks, botanical gardens and more give a number of ways to be active outdoors.

Live Music Scene: 
Our region has a growing music scene with festivals, local and national acts performing across all genres. Every fall, the American Music Festival brings together the largest outdoor music crowd on the East Coast at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The rest of the year, be sure to catch a show at one of our many entertainment venues, including the Hampton Coliseum, Ferguson Center for Arts, Norfolk Scope, the NorVa, Harrison Opera House, Sandler Center, Ted Constant Center, and Portsmouth Pavillion.

Sports Fans: 
For those interested in athletics, Hampton Roads is home to several regional sports teams and countless opportunities for recreational play including beach volleyball, kickball, tennis, indoor soccer, flag football and more.
In the summer, be sure to catch our Norfolk Tides, the AAA baseball club of the Baltimore Orioles, at the beautiful Harbor Park. For hockey lovers, the Norfolk Admirals, an affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, make Friday nights at the Scope a high-energy, family-friendly event. 
Young professionals also have the chance to relive their college game days by watching student athletes compete at every division level. The Norfolk State University Spartans host the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference basketball tournament every season, and the Old Dominion Monarchs are a gridiron powerhouse with the greatest starting season record in college football history.

History and Culture: 
Hampton Roads’ history dates back as far as 1607. Relive the early days of America by visiting the original Jamestown Colony, the battlefields of Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg. Or, brush up on your military history by touring the USS Wisconsin, one of the largest battleships ever built by the US Navy, located right here at Nauticus, a maritime museum on the Elizabeth River.
Between the New York Times recognized Chrysler Museum, ever-changing exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and natural wildlife at the Virginia Living Museum... there is no shortage of cultural and educational stimulation in our region. Spend a weekend checking out our many art districts or learning something new at unique museums and one-of-a-kind cultural landmarks.

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