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Middle Market Forum Recap: Gen Y shaping our future, success strategies, responding to regulation and more



The impact of Generation Y—those born between 1985 and 2004—a generation that is larger than that Baby Boomers—is causing a significant change in the U.S. economy and the country's outlook on social issues.

Ken Gronbach (photo right), a futurist and one of the nation’s leading demographers told more than 200 middle-market executives at last Friday’s Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum that there will be a huge paradigm shift as Baby Boomers retire and members of Generation Y take their place in the workplace.

Bernie Moreno, chairman, Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Committee (photo left) and president, Bernie Moreno Companies, opened the forum, which was held at Corporate College East. He outlined the forum’s three goals:
  • To help attendees develop strategy and tactics that can be adapted for short-and long-term growth plans
  • To give attendees the opportunity to build their business network by connecting or re-connecting with middle-market executives from across the region
  • To provide more information about GCP’s work to strengthen and grow its connections with the region’s middle-market companies and encourage involvement
He also introduced Gronbach, the forum’s keynote speaker, whose insightful and high-energy presentation provided a snapshot of what is happening as Gen Y begins “moving out of their parents basements, marrying, starting households and having kids.”

Other characteristics of Gen Y that are noteworthy include:
  • They are very green, humanitarian and do not see race or color.
  • They will significantly influence trillions in consumer spending.
  • They are flooding the labor market and currently face 50 percent unemployment.
  • They will open a sea of small businesses because they need to eat.
  • They speak cyber as a first language
Gronbach says that the future isn’t a mystery. “It’s all about the numbers.” Based on his research, he is very positive about the future.

“The U.S. economy will restore and soar to new heights we can’t comprehend. The best days for the United States and Cleveland, Ohio are ahead of us, not behind us.”

Click here for more highlights from the forum.