What Do They Want Already? | Youth | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

News + Opinion » Youth

What Do They Want Already?

Some young Vermonters reveal what it will take to keep them here


Published March 13, 2006 at 4:11 p.m.

On March 4, The New York Times ran a front-page story headlined "Vermont Losing Prized Resource as Young Depart." The NYT broadcast to the world a dirty little secret that those of us who live here already know: The Green Mountain State is aging rapidly.

According to a report by University of Vermont economist Art Wolf, within 25 years the state's 65-and-over population will have doubled, while the number of Vermonters in the 21-34-year-old bracket will shrink. In the last decade, the number of working-age Vermonters fell by 15 percent.

Governor Jim Douglas and UVM President Dan Fogel are concerned about what this will mean for Vermont's economy. Douglas has proposed offering 12,000 college scholarships to kids who pledge to remain in the state for three years after graduation. Fogel says we should bolster UVMs and Vermont's reputation as green businesses' equivalent to the Silicon Valley.

But what do the kids really want? Seven Days asked a dozen young adults what it would take to keep them here. We're not sure we can or should meet their demands -- or that leaving to find out what life is like in the wider world is such a bad thing. But this is what they said: