Choose901, the city's proverbial cheerleading group run by City Leadership, took a trip to the Big Apple this week to try and convince New Yorkers to trade the 212 for the 901.
The organization is partnering with the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce to help recruit New Yorkers to fill open positions at Shelby Farms Park, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Muddy's Bake Shop, International Paper, the Memphis Grizzlies, and other companies with openings.
The organization's trip to New York also focused on recruiting college talent as they visited Columbia University, King's College, City College, and New York University —Alexandra Pusateri
- Luke Pruett and wife April in New York
Flyer: Why New York?
Pruett: We're advocating for Memphis. We believe that Memphis is a premier destination for millennials to enjoy and invest their lives in. That's always been our goal: to tell Memphians about that and tell the whole world about that.
That plays out in a couple of campaigns we run other than just Choose901, one being Teach901, which is recruiting urban educators to Memphis along with other efforts; another being Serve901. It's a way to serve the city and showcase opportunities to invest your life here.
We're [here in New York] to network, meet with Memphians that now live and work here, and recruit Memphians back to the city, as well as show new people the opportunities that exist.
Some people might say that Memphians need those available jobs.
That's our focus every day — to show off Memphis inside the city and outside the city. We want every single Memphian and folks outside to find the best economic opportunity in the city they can. That's why our presence is so large with events and campaigns in the city. This is one of the many recruiting efforts we've done both inside and outside the city. It really isn't a departure; our founding mission from day one has been to advertise for the city of Memphis and opportunities here. We want to be a conduit of connection for every single opportunity to the people looking for it inside the city, no matter where they're from. Our goal is to tell the stories here.
What other trips like these have you taken?
Teach901 went to Phoenix last month. We did a job fair in Chicago a few years ago, called the Choose901 Job Fair. I'd say we take about five to seven trips like these a year.
How's the week going?
We've really been overwhelmed with how many people are excited about things going on in the city. We have an incredible opportunity to showcase the Memphis art scene, which you know has so many amazing artists. Wednesday night, we're going to be celebrating the Grizzlies season at the Half Pint, which is kind of the Grizzlies bar [in New York City]. A lot of Grizzlies fans gather here to watch the games. Only a fourth of our staff is here [in New York], so the rest of our people are still back in the city doing what we always do.
The core things you need when you're looking for a place to live are: Where do I live?; What do I do?; Where do I work?; and ultimately, how do I serve and invest in the city? We're staying devoted to our mission. So much of what we do is attempting to lead through surprise, so you gotta stay tuned to know what's coming next.