Shape the Cape

On June 18 the Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP) hosted their third annual Community Breakfast to announce the results of an intensive data collection effort meant to gather information on the 26% decline in residents between the ages of 25-44 in Barnstable County from the years 2000 to 2010. The demographic imbalance created by this trend means the Cape could experience a vacuum of wealth in culture, spirit and revenue.

So why are we talking about an event that happened last month? Because it was only the first of many events in which the community (all ages!) can partake in order to address this Capewide problem.

Preliminary data presented by the Dukakis Center, CCYP’s think partner in the data analysis segments of the Shape the Cape project, suggests that young professionals face the most significant challenges in the areas of career development, housing affordability, and civic engagement. The analysis is based on survey responses, focus groups and phone interviews with approximately 5,200 individuals.

In response to these findings, CCYP has announced three major initiatives that it will launch in the coming months and years: the Career Connect Mentor Exchange, which will provide a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and those who are starting, changing, or advancing their careers on Cape Cod; 2) collaborations with organizations across the Cape to expand housing consumer education and first time homeownership program, and playing an active role in facilitating and participating in community housing dialogues to inform future housing availability, inventory, and access to local lending; and 3) partnerships across the community to increase civic education and involvement of the region’s future leaders.

In addition to these initiatives, CCYP will be gathering feedback from anyone willing to share their thoughts in another (much shorter) survey and hosting community forums in the coming months on the future of younger generations here on Cape Cod.

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