Fresno ranks as top city for young professionals

FRESNO, Calif.

The online magazine cites low cost of living and an easy opportunity for people under 35 to break through as major city or business leaders.

Fresno is no stranger to ranking at the top of national lists, but it's usually for some sort of pollution rating or crime statistic. This time the city is in the spotlight for much better news.

"There's no pretending that Fresno has it all figured out and there's no problems," said Jake Soberal, CEO of Bitwise Industries. "However, I think there are a number of indicators that Fresno is a city of immense opportunity."

The 28-year-old runs Bitwise, a hub office in downtown Fresno that houses 24 technology companies. He's also a perfect example, according to's livability rankings as why our popular ag community is quickly becoming a city of professional growth.

"You can afford to be here in Fresno," said Tacie Avedikian. "You don't have to commute. You don't have to worry about rent that is extremely high." Avedikian is part of the non-profit networking group Fresno's Leading Young Professionals. FLYP is a group encouraging young college grads to stay planted in the central valley.

Technology entrepreneurs, like Mike Provonost, are realizing there's huge potential here. He skipped the chance to work around what he calls the sharks in Silicon Valley, opting instead to develop several start-up companies in his hometown.

"Here in Fresno, I'd say it's a lot more friendly," said Provonost. "People are entrepreneurial friendly, they're always trying to give you resources to grow your business."

Surprising to many Fresno ranks just below New York City on the list. Factors like cheaper gas, affordable housing and potential for business growth helped it place on the list.

"It takes a little bit of bravery to say this is my hometown and I see the issues now, but I also see a better and brighter future," Soberal said.

While this may be great news for our area many, especially people on social media, are criticizing the rankings for not factoring in issues like crime and air quality.

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