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Danville Works To Attract Young Employees


September 12, 2011

Reported of WSET Ch. 13
Sept. 9, 2011
Reporter: James Gherardi; Videographer: R.J. Burnette

Danville, VA - Danville is taking a good hard look at itself right now. A study that analyzed city costs and departments says that the city is doing everything right. But 30 percent of city employees will be eligible for retirement soon.

That number has local leaders looking at how they can train a young workforce to take over.

Within ten years, some of Danville's most experienced, most trained, and most qualified employees may be headed out the door. A study by Municipal and Financial Services Group analyzed the effectiveness of city operations. And the group has some solutions for the city's aging workers. Ed Donahue of Municipal & Financial Services Group said, "What they can do is they can do some succession planning and identify some young people to cultivate and encourage and invest in them for training and things like that."

City officials say Danville has a lot to offer a younger generation. Joe King, Danville city manager said, "We have such a wide variety of functions. We have a lot of very interesting opportunities that maybe some people wouldn't think about."

For years the city has partnered with local institutions like Averett University, to attract young, local workers. The key however is getting local graduates to stay in the area after they graduate. And that's why, city officials say, internships and corporate training programs, are so crucial. "We have taken advantage of internships and it's not our expectation every intern will wind up working for Danville," said King.

Buddy Rawley, vice president for institutional advancement at Averett University said "Danville is getting ready to blossom in my opinion. We've been struggling a while and I think these job openings that the city will produce over the next ten to twenty years will just be wonderful opportunities for Averett students to stay local if they'd like to."

The study found that while thirty percent of workers can retire in the next decade, well over 50 percent of city employees will be up for retirement in the next 20 years.

City officials are working on a way to implement solutions that could attract younger workers to Danville.

For more stories on WSET Ch. 13 visit www.wset.com