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Dallas' Big Plan To Attract And Retain Millennials

With North Texas gaining about 360 people daily and a current population that includes more than 20% Millennials, it may seem counterintuitive that the Dallas Regional Chamber launched an initiative to get more Millennials to the Dallas area.

Dallas skyline

Last Wednesday, the Dallas Regional Chamber announced a Millennial talent attraction initiative called "Say Yes to Dallas." 

The campaign aims to bring the best and brightest Millennials to DFW and to show the high quality of life they can have here, DRC senior vice president of talent attraction Jessica Heer said. 

The biggest hurdle so far is lack of knowledge about the region, Heer said.

“Perception still lags reality. We’re getting our message out there that we’re not all cowboy boots and trucks,” Heer said. “If someone came here five years ago, the city and region look so different now.” 

The initiative recruits Millennials in three ways. First, it targets local college students to get them to stay in the area. Second, it recruits college-educated Millennials within Texas. Third, it targets young people in high-cost-of-living areas, such as California, Washington, DC, or New York. 

In Dallas, 34% of the population aged 25 to 34 has a college degree, compared to about 36% nationally, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the region’s population has been booming, Downtown Dallas’ growth has been less impressive. Say Yes to Dallas targets the entire Metroplex and will partner with similar initiatives in other cities (like Richardson). 

Some factors indicate the initiative, while in its infancy, is already succeeding. Analytics show the most clicked link on the Say Yes to Dallas website is the Jobs page. The next most clicked page is Find A Job. 

Fort Worth skyline

The campaign capitalizes on a couple of things that set it apart: low cost of living, parks and outdoors and culture. The website has a calculator to determine how far a Dallas salary goes compared to other cities. With plenty of facts and rankings at its disposal, DRC is ready to show how adorable, diverse and fun the region is for Millennials. 

Though multifamily rents in the area are climbing steadily, Heer is not concerned.

“We’re still far below national average, especially those coastal cities,” she said. 

Texas flag painted on a barn

In addition to recruiting individuals, the campaign will be a resource for companies and recruiters looking for talent.

“We’re creating a toolkit for HR managers with virtual and hard copies of [the Dallas-Fort Worth Relocation] guide and other materials,” Heer said.

Companies relocating to or recruiting in the area could use Say Yes to Dallas’ messaging to show employees what the area has to offer. 

Say Yes to Dallas has gained praise from executives at Toyota, AT&T, Capital One Bank, DFW Airport, Axxess, KPMG, PepsiCo and Thomson Reuters