Here They Come

August 20, 2018

“Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”
-Ronald Reagan

Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration, Post-Millennials, or the Homeland Generation, is entering the workforce. The most common demographic definition assigned to this group is those born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. As I think about the thousands of students that will start this week at their chosen college or university, contributing to the more than 150,000 enrolled college students in the Columbus Region, it’s easy to get excited about our future.

This generation, like those before it, has grown up with a defining technology (the internet) and world conflict (for some of them, the War in Afghanistan has been going on their entire lives). They’ve seen the creation of entirely new industries, like social media, and they have been witness to the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression – the recession and housing crisis of 2008-2009.  Their perspectives are different than those who came before them, and their numbers are larger than the baby boomers or the millennials. They will sell and purchase goods and services differently, and they have seen evidence of social advancement, like the election of the first African American president of the United States. They have also been reminded of the social and geopolitical struggles that we’ve not yet resolved, including events of Charlottesville, Russia and North Korea.

With a population of approximately 75 million, Generation Z offers an ample workforce for our industries, and more importantly, will continue to provide a massive consumer marketplace for goods and services that will generate new businesses, attract foreign companies, and catalyze technology to solve problems. This is a blessing to the United States for the foreseeable future. As markets around the world stagnate because of demographics, the U.S. will thrive.

As you watch these students arrive, imagine what they will build and create. Imagine the challenges and conflicts they will face. Let’s not only prepare to sell to them, but to also serve and support them so that they can do better than all of us!

-Kenny McDonald


One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to 36 fast-growing companies in the Columbus Region who made the Inc. 5000! Click here for the full list.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is hosting national and international companies considering the Columbus Region.
  • On Wednesday, we look forward to seeing One Columbus investors at the One Columbus Investor Update and Summer Social.
  • A fantastic lineup of speakers will be at the Retail Summit this Thursday, sharing about the energy and diversity of the Region’s retail industry. RSVP today! Contact Jess Laughlin at