Falmouth group seeks to keep young professionals in region

Falmouth Human Services leads effort to help keep professionals in region.

FALMOUTH — To retain young professionals in Falmouth and the region, the town’s Human Services Department has put out a second request for proposals to prevent the out-migration of working-age adults.

“We need to have a diverse demographic,” said Suzie Hauptmann, director of Falmouth Human Services. “Not only do we want young people in our community, we need young workers to provide the services and care for an aging population as well. We want to avoid boxing out an important segment of our community.”

Falmouth has identified the out-migration of working-age adults as an issue that has far-reaching implications to the local economy and for the quality of life for residents of all ages, according to the request.

Because of the significant effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on the local economy, challenges for young families to remain in the community have accelerated, the request says.

The town is seeking proposals that will address the root causes of out-migration, including access to quality child care, availability of housing options and workforce development and economic opportunity.

The town manager’s budget for fiscal year 2021 includes $20,000 to address the problem, the request says. Proposals are due July 31, and there is potential for the contract to be extended an additional two years.

“This is definitely something that is a long-term issue,” Hauptmann said. The aim is to give some financial support to the organizations addressing these needs, she said.

The department’s efforts are part of a larger funding strategy by the town to use part of the operating budget to support human service needs not currently being offered, Hauptmann said. Four years ago there was a shift from funding individual nonprofit organizations to a request-for-proposals process based on identifying a needed service, she said.

The first request for proposals was issued three years ago to address the out-migration of adults between the ages of 25 and 44, Hauptmann said. The Cape Cod Young Professionals was awarded the first contract.

The young professionals group has done a lot of work, including hosting community outreach meetings, organizing surveys and data collection on the population and keeping the problem at the forefront of local and regional politicians’ minds, Hauptmann said.

The proposal is going out again to give other organizations in the area an opportunity to apply and address these issues as well, she said.

Although there might not be an immediate measurable goal for addressing this problem, Hauptmann said the town and the department’s efforts are long term.

“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” Hauptmann said.

Source: https://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20200628/falmouth-group-seeks-to-keep-young-professionals-in-region