Sununu’s Millennial Advisory Council holds first meeting

  • Gov. Chris Sununu (standing) addresses members of the newly former Millennial Advisory Council on Tuesday evening at the executive council chambers in Concord. ETHAN DeWITT / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

High college debt; prohibitive housing costs; sparse workforce development – the issues raised at the governor’s first Millennial Advisory Council meeting ran the gamut.

But if the obstacles to attracting young working professionals to New Hampshire are daunting, the group voicing them hardly let on. Twenty-five participants from across the state, each born between 1980 and 2000, brimmed with ideas at the Executive Council chambers Wednesday evening.

Created by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu last week, the council is charged with exploring ways to retain young people in New Hampshire, the nation’s second oldest state. Members are asked to deliver a report with recommendations by Dec. 1.

On Wednesday the solutions were diverse: from looser zoning laws to grow housing, to a lottery fund to tackle student debt, to improved professional licensing reciprocity across state lines. Council members divided up the work quickly, splitting into subcommittees and vowing to collaborate between meetings.

Participants ranged from college students to small business owners – some born in the Granite State, others recent implants. Several had applied to the role directly, while others were recommended to the governor’s office by their local chamber of commerce.

With a fast-approaching deadline, the challenge is vast. But council members walked out of the room with enthusiasm.

“I feel like everyone’s topic of interest has come up that in some way is affecting millennials,” said Kara LaSalle of Gilford. Fellow participant Jaimie Sousa of Laconia agreed.

“It’s really interesting to hear the different parts of the state and how the struggles are different, and how we can try to come together on those differences,” Sousa said.