Youth Leadership Cary - Bonus from Technology Tank

Are Business Cards Dead?

Cary, NC – On Friday of last week, I had the opportunity to see the end of the Cary Chamber of Commerce ‘Youth Leadership Cary’ graduation at The Cary. 40 exceptional young men and women had successfully completed the program and had obviously impressed the adults leading this course.

The leader of the event encouraged the students to use this experience as the start of their professional network. My question during the social after the program was “So do all the students now have Linked-In profiles?” Questions had to be asked of the students to see if they knew about Linked-In and if they had profiles, and the answer was ‘no’…

If you are mentoring a Junior or Senior in high school or any college student, they all should have Linked-In profiles now!

Here is the Technology Tank / Cary Innovation Center ‘bonus session’ for the students who were in the Youth Leadership Cary program. I sent this through the chamber to the high school counselors for these 40 students, but many, many more need this advice so please pass it along.

Make Your Linked-In Profile Now!

Linked-In is an invaluable professional networking and contact management tool. Build your profile now and keep adding to it as you progress in your careers.

This is your professional persona, so think school picture, not those fun beach pictures. You are young, so update your picture every few years so that people are not surprised when they meet you (you are still aging quickly). Don’t post jokes, what you ate for lunch or stray thoughts – FaceBook is the place for all that stuff.

Build your resume and keep it current with all of your accomplishments and work history. Ask for recommendations as you go (you don’t have to make them public if you don’t want to…) People search Linked-In all the time and you may be presented with opportunities you never would know about otherwise.

Link to all of the people you have met in this program and keep building your network as you go. Business cards are very important, but by the time you are out of school, there is a high likelihood that most of the people you have met are now working for a different company and so that card is obsolete.

When you make a connection request, always remind the person how you met. No blank connection requests!

Create your Linked-In profile now and make sure you keep your profile up to date. Use the smoke detector battery rule at a minimum, ie. update your profile when the hour changes.

What Do You Think?

We are always interested in best-in-class Technology advice. Please let us know if you think I’m off base or if there is a newer and better way. Cheers!

Disclosure: Linked-In profile of the writer.

Featured image Public Domain from the Town of Cary

Imagine Cary Age Graph

Where are the Millenials?

Cary, NC – On looking at the graph, the question popped into my mind. Scott Ramage, AICP, Principal Planner for the Town of Cary Planning Department was speaking at the monthly Economic Development Committee Meeting on May 1, 2013. We were getting a preview of the information developed for Imagine Cary.

The above graph bugged me. The 20-29 year old grouping was very low for Cary compared to the region. Why was Cary missing a generation? Is this something new or has it always been that way? Raleigh seemed to have the alternate trend as their 20-29 year old group was much larger than Cary.

Census Data

I went to the US census data to try to answer my question. There is a very useful tool on the site, Fact Finder, that lets you sift through the many, many census databases to come up with some information.

I pulled out data for 2000 and 2010 and below is the age distributions I found for Cary.

Cary Age Distribution 2000 vs 2010

The age range in 2000 of the current Millenial generation also has a drop off, so this does not look to be something new for Cary.  The graph seems to point out a decrease in the population of younger professionals and an increase in the older professionals and those who are most likely retired.

Why are the Age Ranges Different?

I know you will ask the question as to why the age ranges are different from the chart taken from Scott’s presentation and mine. The answer comes from the age ranges that are reported by the Census tables. For some reason, the age range reporting for the 2000 census is different than the 2010 census. The 2000 census reported many age ranges in split decades (ie. 35-44) so it was not possible to get the 2000 age ranges to match up to the 2010 age ranges. I was able to go in the reverse and get 2010 data to fit into the age ranges reported in the 2000 census data.

Wake and Raleigh

I also looked at the population change in Wake County and Raleigh for completeness.
Wake County Age Distribution 2000 vs 2010
Raleigh Age Distribution 2000 vs 2010

What Does This Mean?

I’m not sure. This is just one view of a huge amount of data that is available to us. The answers may be found with much more analysis. The Open Data movement will help as more data becomes available for civic hackers to chew on.

What do you think?

Imagine Cary logo

Imagine Cary Preview

This morning the Chamber of Commerce got a preview of Imagine Cary.  Scott Ramage, AICP, Principal Planner for the Town of Cary Planning Department spoke at the monthly Economic Development Committee Meeting.  Everyone that will be attending the Summit on the Future this Thursday night will get to see lots of good information.

Changing Demographics

The median age of Cary Citizens is the third highest among the 14 largest cities in NC. From the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census, the median age of Cary increased from 33.7 to 36.6 years old. This is a much faster increase in age than is being seen in neighboring Raleigh, or Wake County, NC or the US.

A Missing age Group?

The 20 to 29 year old population in Cary is noticeably missing with only 10.9%. Compare this to 14% regionally and nationally. Raleigh has 19.7% of their population in the 20 to 29 year old range! The 30-39 year old population in Cary is also a little low for the region.

This age range drop off comprises the age group of the Millenial generation.

Cary is Diverse

Cary leads the 14 largest municipalities in percentage of citizens who are foreign born. Cary has 19.1% foreign born which beats out the next highest cities of Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh which all come in around 14.5%

What does this mean for Cary?

We are really not sure, but this is what the Imagine Cary process is all about. Asking questions, challenging beliefs and determining what we want to be and look like 20 years from now.

There is lots more information than the few things that struck me, so get involved to find out more. Scott mentioned that a “Snapshot Report” will be available in about a week which will include much more information. The report as well as all Imagine Cary information can be found on the Imagine Cary Website at