Why Hire Gen-Y? conference closes generation gap

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The Why Hire Gen-Y? conference provided a voice for the supposed lazy, apathetic and distracted newest generation of employees – Millennials.


The conference was put on by the Career Management Center, a service of the Colorado State University College of Business, last week at the Fort Collins Hilton.The three-day event focused on dispelling negative myths surrounding the soon-to-be workforce majority.

It encouraged the positives of the next generation of employees and provided employers with tools to utilize Millennials’ potential for long-term success. Sue Schell, director of the Career Management Center, organized the event in an effort to dispel the negative stereotypes that surround the Millennial generation.

Schell said  she looks forward to Millennials taking over as the majority of the workforce, because the generation is socially- responsible, promotes diversity and utilizes technology, and their primary motivation is not money.

“There are a certain number of people in every generation that give it a bad name,” Schell said.

A similar Millennial defense was delivered in a presentation by entrepreneur, futurist and author Amy Webb, one of the speakers at the event.

“The key difference between us and Millennials is we didn’t have phones to capture our drunken moments in college,” Webb said. “We are judging Millennials for doing exactly what we have done.”

Webb said that employers need to put more consideration into backgrounds of employees and their personal needs. She said it is important to look past employees’ skill sets and cater to the individual for maximized productivity.

Another speaker at the event was Millennial writer, filmmaker and author David Burnstein, who provided a look at the business world through the eyes of a Millennial.

“This is a generation that enjoys taking risks,” Burnstein said. “They want to bring that spirit into a bigger institution, and we should embrace that.”

Burnstein said his generation would rather take a lower paying job if it allowed them to make a social impact.


This was a consistent theme throughout the conference – Millennials want to change the world – even if it means a smaller paycheck.

He said it is necessary for employers to abandon outdated traditions like 9-to-5 workdays, old technology and requiring a college degree.

“We are in this together,” he said. “It is an exciting time to be young.”

Collegian Staff Reporter Danny Bishop can be reached at news@collegian.com.