Every commencement speech ever refers to graduates as the future: our future leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, workforce. This is where our talent comes from - the brains, vision, creativity, spirit and energy that powers our communities, shapes our culture, and fuels our economy.
This is especially bittersweet for the class of 2020, graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom won't get the opportunity to walk across a stage, collect their diplomas in person, or celebrate their achievements at a prom or party with the friends and family members who have cheered them on.
GIS Planning salutes these newly minted graduates from all levels of schooling, from middle school through high school, technical & vocational schools, community colleges, university, and graduate programs. We recognize your hard work and accomplishments, your long hours of studying, your dreams for the future. We have long been proud to offer data about your collective accomplishments in our popular talent reports on ZoomProspector. Site selectors and businesses know you are a critical part of any region's workforce.
We know that the ceremonies and celebrations you had planned to mark your graduation may now look different, may have even been postponed or cancelled. We recognize that your plans for next year or your next steps may have shifted because of the pandemic. Most universities are now planning for a fall semester online, coops and internships may have shifted or disappeared. Finding a job during this period of unprecedented unemployment is for many new graduates a daunting prospect.
Graduates of the class of 2020, we see you.
We want to tell you not to lose hope. The best, brightest minds around the world are working to rebuild opportunities for our new realities. Experts of all kinds, doctors, businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, elected officials and economic developers in every region of every country are trying to get us all back on track. Our new normal won't be easy but you may recall from your history classes what we have learned from past disasters, pandemics, recessions: recovery will happen and there will be tremendous new opportunities for those with creativity, vision and a propensity for hard work.
Graduates, we need you more than ever to help make this happen. Frame your diplomas - you earned them. Find creative, personally meaningful ways to mark your accomplishments and channel this energy into achieving the dreams and goals you have set for yourselves. Know that we are there behind you, cheering you on.