Meet 2018 Executive Council Candidate Gray Chynoweth
In an effort to keep young professionals in Manchester, NH well informed, MYPN interviews 2018 candidates regarding where they stand on issues that affect young professionals, the livability of Manchester, and opportunities to start and grow careers in the city
How do you suggest we attract and ultimately retain young professionals in the Manchester region?
Keeping and attracting young people in the Manchester area has been an issue that I have been working on for my entire professional career. In fact I helped found organizations like Manchester Young Professionals Network and Stay Work Play to help our state do a better job of keeping a younger workforce here. Simply put: I love Manchester and I love New Hampshire. This is why I moved back here after college and started my family here. To retain young talent, we need to make sure there are jobs and economic opportunities. We need to make sure that we are connecting students at our state Universities with job hubs and internship programs in cities likeke Nashua and Manchester.
Additionally, a key to attracting young people and growing our economy is connecting Southern New Hampshire to Boston with passenger rail. This would help attract a workforce commuting to jobs in Boston, and would also help companies right here in New Hampshire create more jobs. Furthermore, it would help residents of New Hampshire have easy access to all of the things that come with an urban environment like Boston without having to leave the state.
How do you think we can get young professionals more engaged in the political process?
As a young candidate for office, I know how important it is to get more young people engaged in our state’s political tradition. We should be proud that New Hampshire is the best state in the country; especially when it comes to being politically involved. Young people now more than ever are starting to realize that their voice matters, that their vote matters and that they matter. In order to continue this trend, we need to make it easier for eligible people to vote, not harder. We should be looking for ways to modernize and secure our election systems by implementing Automatic Voter Registration and Online Voter Registration. Furthermore, the political community needs to go out of its way to engage its community of young professionals. This was something that I started when I was president of the New Hampshire Young Democrats and when I helped found MYPN and StayWorkPlay, and I will continue doing so as an Executive Councilor.
What do you believe to be the #1 issue for young professionals in the Greater-Manchester region?
I think the most important issue for young professionals in the Greater-Manchester region is fostering a community where they can afford a home, start a family, and build their career. As an executive councilor, I will vote for contracts that create affordable housing opportunities and economic development projects like commuter rail. I will also work with our Community College and University Systems to connect students to internship opportunities and scholarship programs in the private sector so that we can retain more of our students and they graduate and enter the workforce.
What piece of legislation do you support that would most improve the lives of young professionals in New Hampshire?
I think one of the most important pieces of legislation in front of the Executive Council is the 10-year transportation plan. As an Executive Councilor, I will vote in favor of accepting federal funding for the engineering study to determine the cost of bringing commuter rail to our state. When we fully connect to the larger regional economy, we will create new jobs for toung professionals and enhance the overall quality of life in Southern New Hampshire.
Why is NH a great state for young professionals?
New Hampshire is a great state for young professionals because of the community and culture of innovation here. I am proud to have been born here, and one of the best decisions that I have made in my life was moving back here after finishing law school. It is where I met my wife Tara, and it is where we are raising our two young boys, Graham (7) and Lincoln (3). As an Executive Councilor, I will fight for young professionals and citizens trying to raise their families by pushing for economic growth, access to affordable, quality health care, and the modernization of our state government.
If you were tasked with planning a day for an out of state young professional to visit Manchester, what would you make sure they saw/did?
I would make sure that out of state young professionals saw the Manchester Millyard. I am proud of the work I did at Dyn to help turn it into a thriving tech hub full of opportunity for businesses and their workers. In my current job at ARMI, I am truly excited about the work we’re doing that will Manchester become thriving biomanufacturing hub. There has truly never been a better time to be a young professional in Manchester, and I look forward to bringing that culture of innovation and progress to the Executive Council.