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From the Desk of CA President Milton Matthews

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Columbia Association (CA) recently began to look into how we may better serve Columbia’s younger residents, employees and students — the so-called millennials that associations, companies and other organizations are often consciously striving to reach.
CA’s outreach to millennials is not us merely following a trend. This age group already makes up a sizable portion of our community; nearly 22% of Columbia’s residents are between the ages of 18 and 34.

CA’s Vision — making Columbia the community of choice, now and for generations to come — comes with two overlapping interpretations.

For the past 50 years, Columbia has been one of the best places to live, a perennial recognition that is the result of considerable and focused planning, and effort by CA and its many community partners. As we start the next 50 years of Columbia’s history, CA and its many partners will continue to build upon the achievements of the community, which includes working to serve all generations.
Much of CA’s programming and amenities benefit all ages. Beyond that, we also offer programs that cater to specific age ranges within our community, from young children and their parents to older adults.

And we want to ensure we are serving millennials, as well. That is why CA recently convened its Millennials Work Group, providing younger residents, employees and students with a forum to share their thoughts on the kinds of programs, activities and venues that should be offered by CA — and to express their ideas about how to attract individuals of their generation to engage with and serve the community.

The first meeting of the work group was held in February, and there will be other meetings throughout the year, with a goal of a final report by the end of the year.

This is not the first time CA has undertaken this kind of project. In 2014, the CA Board of Directors approved a Comprehensive Plan for Serving Older Adults, which examined trends and best practices, and sought insight and interviews from those age 55 and older (and those who would soon age into that group). CA is continuing to implement the many recommendations that came out of that process.

I want to extend a thank-you to those individuals who will be serving on the Millennials Work Group, and to the many others who will provide invaluable input through focus groups and other community outreach channels.

Email milton.matthews@columbiaassociation.org with questions/comments.