by Joe Castilleja, 2015 Chair of the Board

Four adult generations currently reside in New Braunfels: the Silent, born between 1928 – 1945, the Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964), Generation X (1965 – 1980), and the Millennials (1980 and the mid – 2000’s). The majority of our business and civic leaders are Baby Boomers and Generation X. However, the time is nearing when the Millennials will be the new generation of leaders and decision makers. Let’s see how the Millennials will connect, get involved, and what impact will they have on our community.

No other generation grew up with the internet and social media, nor has there been a more educated generation. Sixty-one percent of the Millennials attended college compared to 46% of the Baby Boomers. Their connectivity to technology coupled with their creativity allows this generation to communicate faster and touch more people than previous generations. All this data is distributed for all to understand, assess and address with the touch of a dial. Oops! More like the touch of a screen.

Once this generation is informed, they get involved with the issue(s) at hand. The Millennials have shown determination as they lived through the recession when unemployment was its highest from 2007 to 2009. They are not only willing to participate, but are willing to take the lead and make an impression on society. The Millennials are community minded and value family ties.  For example, over 50% want to stay close to family and friends in comparison to Baby Boomers (29%) and Generation X (40%). Not only do the Millennials like close ties, but they prefer communities that have the live, work and play environment. Therefore, they tend to keep their talents here, as opposed to taking them to the big cities.

The biggest impact the Millennials will have is their size; they are the largest generation in our country accounting for almost one-third of our population. Their size alone boasts well for our economic growth. However, they will also continue to play a major role in social and geographical shifts; for example, they are getting married later in life, which makes them more mobile. They will shape our community and country for years and decades to come.

In summary, no generation is better able to handle and/or solve the challenges of this community. They have technological expertise, are more educated, and they have experienced and survived a recession. Despite their large population, they are most connected than any other generation. They are all about the cause and I am confident that they will continue to care for our community like our forefathers and the generations that have followed.

Joe Castilleja
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
Chair of the Board