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2017-11-17 / Front Page

FOREMOST UNDER 40

BY SPENCER MYERS
Editor

Pennsylvania Business Central proudly congratulates all of the 39 young professionals and forward thinkers honored in the 2017 Foremost Under 40. Each professional featured in this year’s edition exemplifies the work ethic and determination needed to find success in business.

This year’s selectees were picked from a long list of nominations sent to us from throughout our 23-county readership. Every year, our editorial board reaches out to executives, chambers of commerce, community leaders and readers to send in nominations for selection.

Within this issue, you will find entrepreneurs striking out on their first startups, industry professionals rising through the ranks and community caregivers who put everything into their work.

Pennsylvania Business Central has been accepting nominations from our readership since mid-September. All submissions were collected and given to an editorial selection committee, which chose the final selections from the nominations. The selection committee based its final selections on nominees who have made a positive impact on the Central Pennsylvania business community by consistently moving their business forward, adapting to major changes in their personal and professional life and giving back to the community through volunteering or mentoring.

We asked each selectee for one quote that they felt has influenced their decision making throughout their career. The answers surprised us. The people who have found the most success seem to care just as much about the world outside of their professional lives as they do about their own career. Success does not solely require a blind ambition. It also requires the ability to treat others with respect and a desire to help the community in which you do business.

In only three short years, the Foremost Under 40 list will be populated entirely by Millennials and Generation z. Outside of this, by 2025 millennials are expected to make up three-quarters of the global workforce. So what can we expect from this next generation of working professionals?

Recent studies paint a bit of a bleak picture for Millennials in America. According to new analyses of federal workforce data, the generation is making 20 percent less than baby boomers, they have half of the net worth their parents had at the same age and nearly half of the generation is still living at home.

Despite this, Millennials are optimistic about the future, according to the Bank of America Fall 2017 Small Business Owner Report. The report’s survey of American business owners indicate that Millennial business owners were the most likely to: expect the local economy to improve over the next 12 months, hire more employees over the next 12 months, expect revenue to increase in the next 12 months and plan to grow business over the next five years.

The double edged sword that has proved a barrier to the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs is education.

On one hand, they are the most well educated yet. According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, the proportion of 25 to 29 year-olds with a college degree has risen to 35.6 percent in 2015 from 23.2 percent in 1990.

On the other hand, they are also deep in college debt due to drastically rising tuition rates. According to the Pew Research Center, “Americans owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans at the end of June, more than two and a half times what they owed a decade earlier.” According to the same report, “among adults ages 18 to 29, 37 percent say they have outstanding student loans for their own education.”

With all of this debt, many Millennials are left wondering whether their degree was a sound investment. Many have found that the answer may best be answered not by looking at the university system, but by looking at our economic system. A Harvard University survey found that 51 percent do not support capitalism, while 42 percent said they support it.

We at Pennsylvania Business Central hope that this year’s list paints a full picture of the next generation.

If you know one of the individuals honored, we encourage you to offer them congratulations in person or by sharing their profile on social media. Each profile will be posted on the Pennsylvania Business Central Facebook page.

Readers are also encouraged to begin nominating for our next two big issues: Top 100 People and Top 100 Organizations, which will hit the stands in January and February, respectively. To nominate a person or organization, go to our website and click on the Top 100 tab or simply give us a call at 814-278-1323. .

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