An explosion of growth has come to Richardson over the past five years, with the city seeing more job opportunities, more businesses, more restaurants and more retail space.
But there’s one thing the city is lacking – a young workforce to take advantage of it.
The city is looking to change that by launching a digital campaign that aims to bring more young professionals to Richardson. The Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP), an organization formed by the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce in 1984, is partnering with the Denver-based agency Atlas Advertising for a campaign that begins July 12.
The target group is working professionals between 25 and 34. According to REDP, people in that age group make up about 13.7 percent of Richardson’s population of 105,307.
“There’s a need for more talent in Richardson,” REDP marketing director Jenny Mizutowicz said. “We have an influx of new corporate citizens coming in, hiring employees.”
A website, RealRichardson.com, will be the main feature of the initiative, which is tentatively titled the Richardson Young Professionals Talent Attraction Campaign. The site will link young professionals to specific job openings and housing options, showcase restaurants and provide links to videos highlighting lifestyle, food, culture and career opportunities. Outside the website, much of the campaign’s marketing will be through social media.
“We know that millennials, young professionals, that’s where they get their information,” said Guillermo Mazier, vice president of strategic accounts at Atlas Advertising. “If we can target these particular channels with a particular message, we think we can have a pretty good advantage in the marketplace.”
The drive to bring more young people to Richardson comes as the city experiences a surge in business. In the past five years, big-name companies such as State Farm Insurance, Raytheon and GEICO have moved corporate offices to Richardson, opening up “hundreds” of jobs, Mizutowicz said. Raytheon, for example, has at least 100 unfilled positions, she said. State Farm also expects to hire at least 1,000 people in 2016, with entry-level positions available in areas such as sales and customer service, according to State Farm spokesperson Chris Pilcic.
But growth hasn’t just been in the corporate world. According to REDP, 58 restaurants opened in the city in 2015 – the most to ever open or be announced in the city in a year. Housing is also growing, as REDP estimates Richardson will have 9,000 multifamily units by 2019. Other attractions include Alamo Drafthouse and the Richardson Food Truck Park, as well as the more than 180-acre mixed-use development CityLine at George Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway. The city’s four DART rail stations could also be attractive to young people who prefer greener methods of transportation, Mizutowicz said.
It’s that mix of everything – work, lifestyle and entertainment – that makes companies such as State Farm want to set up shop in Richardson and hire long-term employees, Pilcic said. State Farm has offices at CityLine.
“We know future generations of employees may have different expectations of their employer, so we’re taking that into consideration,” he said. “One example of that is our ‘live, work and play’ environment at CityLine, which offers on-site living and entertainment options near the office. We know we can attract and retain top talent here because the area is growing and vibrant.”
That’s what REDP hopes to do – attract talented young people and have them grow in Richardson.
“We want young people to come to our community and invest in our community, and decide that when they live here, [they] plant a seed here and discover all the resources and sense of community that Richardson has,” Mizutowicz said.
2000 – 91,802
2010 – 99,223
2015 – 105,307
Source: Richardson Economic Development Partnership