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Generational Shifts In The American Workforce Is Topic Of Friday Forum

Millennials are ruining this, or baby boomers have already ruined that. Those type of headlines are common today, but Friday’s speaker at the Park City Board of realtor’s community forum says that generations have more in common than you think.

This Friday from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm at the Jim Santy auditorium Senior Vice President at Zions Bank, Chris Redgrave will be speaking about the generational shifts in the American workforce.

Redgrave says that demographics greatly shape our world.

“Whatever shaped them in their lives growing up affects us politically, it affects purchase power, it affects our economy, it affects voting, and so the impact is pretty profound.” Redgrave explained, You look at the size of millennials I mean this is the largest population on planet earth so far, and probably will be. That’s at the tune of about 85 million compared to the boomers at 76 million. So, it is a formidable population. My premise is there’s room for everybody. Every population on the planet right now and especially in the workforce, we’ve got about four generations, they all have their contributions. So, had the opportunity to really pay attention to this. Gosh I think I’ve been studying the millennials; the oldest millennials are 38-39 and I worked for a company and we started studying them when they were teenagers. I’ve got a lot of information and I’m excited to share it.”

Redgrave breaks down the generational groups, although she admits it’s not an exact science.

“The youngest boomer’s only 54 this year and the oldest boomer is around 71.” Redgrave continued, “President Trump is not a boomer he’s a silent, he’s 72 on up. X are around 40 to 53 and the millennials are around 22 to 39 and the little Z babies are 21 on down. Every generation is shaped by what’s happened in their lifetime. For instance, this is kind of interesting, the millennials 83% have a memory of 9/11. That shapes them. It shapes them politically, it shaped them in signing up for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those were millennials that signed up for that. Their purchase power is real important right now, since they’re in the age of acquisition. But you look at the boomer group, it is the largest wealth group in the world. The millennials will be very interested in the wealth transfer that goes from the boomers to the millennials.”

Redgrave says millennials and baby boomers sometimes butt heads.

“The boomers were collectors and the millennials are like ew.” Redgrave said, “When you were a little kid and you made your mother the lion face on a paper plate and presented it to her. Your boomer mother kept it and she wants to return it back to you. That gift transaction ended when you presented the plate to your mother as a little kid. They’re not collectors, hence the smaller homes and they just have different taste. They were the first population to refer to themselves as citizens of planet earth. About 65% of them expect to have some type of overseas experience. I don’t mean just traveling to Japan, I mean working overseas. Having some type of overseas experience. 40% of the millennial population are of mixed race and 50% of the Gen Z’s are mixed race. This is exactly what we need. Every generation shows up for their time. How excited do you think the boomer’s parents were when they saw the boomers with their hippie hair and their tie-dye shirt and listening to rock n roll? Thinking these kids are going to be taking over the American economy, can you imagine how frightening that must’ve been? Sometimes the generational bashing that goes on, I think it’s a preservation technique.”

Although millennials and baby boomers sometimes clash, they have a lot in common.

“I also think people need to be mindful of it and especially executives.” Redgrave explained, “To really make sure that they have a real nice balance of respect in the workplace. That we take advantage of each other. A word that’s kind of disappearing in America that you don’t here a lot is the word wisdom. Just the word wisdom, how important that is. This beautiful population of millennials and to some degree the gen Z’s have a tremendous amount of confidence and swagger. They go into the workplace and they expect to have the President and CEO’s position within five years. We do not want to quash that exuberance and that swagger, but we do need to manage it to some degree. There needs to be an element where they understand that the expertise and the experience that the gen X and the boomers bring to the workplace. I think together it can be a real formidable mix.”

The Friday forum is open to the public and will have door prizes and free lunch. No RSVP is required.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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