Patrick Carper ’21 Montgomery Chamber of Commerce – Over the past few weeks on the job at the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, I have immersed myself in the culture of the community. I’ve learned about local businesses, services, history, festivals, recreation, issues, and governmental policies all in an effort to discover the things young people find most attractive about the community and broadcast them to people that are considering relocating to Crawfordsville or Montgomery County. I’d like to thank everyone who made this internship possible for me.

Crawfordsville faces the same challenges that many other small and mid-sized communities face. Many of the smartest in our schools, the ones who go off to good colleges and become doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women, or other professionals, move out of the community after college because they have options. Many of the young people that remain simply have fewer options. Maybe they don’t aspire to a six-figure career, and that’s okay. They are still valued members of the community. However, this dilemma contributes to a smaller than ideal proportion of working professionals to other working people. One doesn’t need to look past Montgomery County’s median household income to see that our community is in need of more well-paying jobs. As an intern at the Chamber of Commerce, I am producing a series of pamphlets to convince young aspiring professionals to stay in Crawfordsville and others to move in. This involves pouring through local historical accounts, researching the local housing market, sitting in on meetings, and uncovering the features of this place that already convince members of the community to stay. After the initial research for any given topic, I wrap the community’s biggest selling points into a pamphlet that I produce with Adobe Creative Cloud software.

Some of the community’s brightest that move away eventually do return. But what is lost is a decade of their young adult life where they could’ve solicited Montgomery County businesses, ate food grown or raised on Montgomery County farms, and sent their children to Montgomery County schools. Instead, during that time they solicited businesses in Indianapolis, ate out of Zionsville restaurants, or sent their children to Brownsburg schools. If Crawfordsville wants to flourish, it should actively seek out young professionals whose growing families will fuel new growth in town, not older individuals living on a fixed income. By designing marketing targeting specifically for them, I aim to attract a younger generation to this community.