GREENSBORO, N.C. — Millennials are on the move and some of them are choosing Greensboro as their go-to city.
A lot of it comes down to the cost of living, but a vibrant downtown with new companies and a new performing arts center also makes the area more inviting.
“It’s a big city, but it’s a small city feeling for me. It’s really easy to connect with people,” said Jan Striewe, a UNCG student from Germany.
Making connections is what millennials, like Striewe, look to do when they move to a new city or get a new job.
“You want to make an impact, some sort of impact on the community,” Striewe said.
More than 2,000 millennials came to town in 2017.
A SmartAsset study shows North Carolina is one of the top five states where people between the ages of 20 and 34 are moving.
When the data is narrowed down to cities, Greensboro sits at #18 above places like Raleigh and Austin, Texas.
“I was talking to someone yesterday from Detroit. Some of my coworkers from New York. Some are from Portland. And some from California,” said Devon Oliver, who moved to escape big city living.
“Everything in New York is more difficult, so everything takes a lot more time,” Oliver said.
And a lot more money.
“It’s insane,” Oliver said. “My cost of living has genuinely been cut in half from living in New York. So that’s a huge perk,.”
That’s a perk Striewe also benefits from.
He’s not so focused on big city life.
“You look at how much is housing, living cost of living, and what are the opportunities,” Striewe said.
Millennials are finding that in Greensboro but feel like they could use a little more help.
“I think Greensboro needs to do a little bit more marketing because there’s a lot of opportunities here,” Striewe said. “They just need to get the word out.”
Cecelia Thompson, the executive director of Action Greensboro, is working on connecting local employers with talent from all over the country.
“We realize we’re known as a hidden gem. That’s not necessarily a good thing,” Thompson said.
Her goal is to bring the next generation to Greensboro and to show off what the city has to offer.
“A really vibrant downtown and I think people are realizing there’s a lot here,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of similarities as large places or large cities.”