Number of young professionals on the rise, growing organizations to meet their needs

One might call it a renaissance or a step in the right direction when describing the recent surge of young professionals who now call Birmingham home. According to the Birmingham Business Alliance, almost 48,000 young professionals live in metropolitan Birmingham. The 'YP' population has increased 23 percent between 2007 and 2011.

Analysts show the Magic City is becoming more attractive to a younger, educated workforce which undoubtedly helps local businesses. "When asked where they[young professionals] want to go and what they want to do, the answer is 'I don't know what I want to do but I'm going to do it in Birmingham, Alabama. That's when we really feel good about ourselves," said Brian Hilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Birmingham Business Alliance. With more young people in town, there are growing organizations, even websites, that cater to their interests and help them connect with one another. Take for example It's a website that allows people to schedule meetings and activities with one another based on their common interests. There are several meetup groups in the city including "Birmingham Vegans", "Birmingham Geekdom" and "20's and 30's Going out Group." "A lot of times people don't really know about the things going on in Birmingham. They go to other cities and other areas to check out other things but we have plenty going on here," said Jessica Latten, who manages a social group on "People who are in their 20's and 30's are really the movers and the shakers. When you meet other people, you get to network and have the connections you need to get what you want." Another popular organization in town for up-and-coming professionals is Young Professionals of Birmingham, a group that holds monthly social events to connect rising stars and raise awareness about various non-profit organizations."Its a good face-to-face interaction that we have and we make it fun. We create a fun environment for people to come in and really enjoy themselves. Something to do after work," said Ryan D'Alessio, President of Young Professionals of Birmingham. Our best suggestion for those looking to get connected? Talk to people, attend events and look for those that share similar interests. {}