Editorial: 'Young Gamechangers'

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Last week, a group of 48 young professionals came together to present their findings to better the city of Albany.

The group, called 'Young Gamechangers,' is made up of folks from all over Georgia, and have been meeting for most of this year. The goal is to suggest improvements and to attract and keep young professionals wanting to live here.

After months of reviewing and analyzing Albany, they presented their findings. Some of the ideas involve what they see working elsewhere around the state, some were previously successful ideas that we needed to reminded to bring back, like the turtles, and 'Friday's on the Flint.'

The ideas include creating an Albany innovation village... which would serve as a hub for innovation and connect business, educational, and public sectors together.

They also recommended expanding ASU into downtown Albany, creating an apprenticeship program and a community web portal for people to see available resources.

A key and important suggestion... consolidating the city and county governments....that has been brought up numerous times in the past...and that has proven to work in many other cities in the state.

An idea that Mayor Hubbard said was worth looking into.

"We will certainly want to look at everything that they said and try to figure out what it is we can do," said Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.

"Youth brings energy and if you want to bring in and attract young people that have energy and that have dollars and want to spend money, you have to listen to them,"   Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas.

Our first reaction to their presentation was Wow, what a long and thought-provoking list, from our next generation of leaders, who some would say may lack the experience to complete such a strategic project.

The next thing that comes to mind, is why our elected and appointed officials could not invest this much time and effort into a similar list of needed priorities.

We say to the group of Gamechangers, thank you and this was a job well done!

We hope our city leaders will now step up to the plate... and actually work to implement many of these great ideas.

We also ask them not to just pick the easy solutions... but to really move forward on ideas that are for the substantial betterment of this community.

Change isn't easy, but sometimes it is necessary, and this is certainly one of those times!.

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