Amazon and remote work driving Millenials to the Rust Belt

Submitted by acohill on Tue, 09/25/2018 - 08:25

This is one of the most interesting articles I have read in a long time.

Millenials are moving to smaller "Rust Belt" towns and small cities to escape the high cost of living in the larger metro areas. Heavy student debt loads, combined with skyrocketing rents and home costs, are part of the appeal to live in a place where housing is affordable.

But there is also this:

"There is a community-mindedness with millennials that attracts them to the smaller Rust Belt towns," said Peter Haring, president of Haring Realty in Mansfield, Ohio.

"We are seeing an intense interest in participating in the revitalization of our towns and being a part of the community. It's palpable, and it's exciting," he added."

Millenials want affordable housing, but they also want to belong to a place, and to be involved in the life of the community....a major shift from a long trend of community disengagement in America.

Finally, there is also this:

"More and more people are now working virtually, which means they do not need to be in their office and can work from almost anywhere," said Ralph DiBugnara, senior vice president at Residential Home Funding. "So why not find somewhere to live where your city dollars can go a lot further?"

Home-based work AND the ability to shop online has diminished the need to a)Live close to your employer, and b)Live close to stores and essential shopping needs.

What ties all this together? Millenials, no matter where they live, are heavy users of the Internet and want and expect to be connected 24/7. Affordable, high performance broadband is the essential ingredient in this major shift in community and economic development.

Smaller towns and cities that do not have a strategy for ensuring that they have the necessary broadband infrastructure to attract and keep Millenials are not going to be able to benefit from this trend.

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