Young talent matters and more communities are doing what it takes to attract and retain young professionals to work, live and play.

In Hopkinsville, HYPE can be a haven for young professionals to form a sense of community and to get involved with the city's growth.

Hopkinsville Young Professionals Engage recently announced that it is revamping its membership efforts for local professionals ages 21 to 45.

HYPE board members acknowledged that membership has stalled since the group's inception three years ago, but its current 50 members are working to bring in more young professionals by reaching out to local businesses.

Why does it matter? Because young people who live here need a sense of community and growth in order to stay.

According to the latest census data, Hopkinsville is the youngest city in Kentucky, with the median age at 28 years old.

Gallup data from its report, "How Millennials Want to Work and Live," shows that 59% of millennials (those born from 1980 to 1996) want the opportunity to learn and grow in their careers and 31% want to feel pride in their community.

HYPE is the perfect place for 20-and-30-somethings to network and embed in Hopkinsville-Christian County.

Founded in 2016 with the purpose to "grow, guide and gather," the group hosts monthly meetups where members, who join for a $50 annual fee, can network, mingle and create new goals for the community.

The latter is important to the city's growth, even if you aren't a young professional.

In order for the city to grow, young professionals and their families must want to live here. Once they're here, they need good-paying jobs with upward mobility, quality housing and a sense of community to stay.

HYPE can be a sounding board for all three.

It's a great opportunity for young professionals to meet the movers and shakers of this city and share ideas that will move our city forward.

In Vicksburg, Mississippi, the young professionals group organized a pub crawl around the city, while another young professionals group in Northern Kentucky matched members with nonprofits through an event called Bourbon and Boards.

The value of young professionals to the overall community is beneficial to us all. So what are you waiting on? Join the HYPE or spread the word to a young professional who might be sitting right next to you.

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