The Valley Young Professionals give young leaders chance to develop roots and grow

Leaders in the public and private sectors and across all industries agree that a thriving economy depends on a talented, robust pipeline of young people ready to enter the workforce and take the helm of driving growth.

Janelle Tassart

Janelle Tassart

But here in Arizona, we have a problem. There’s a perception that Arizona is not a place where young people can secure good jobs, develop leadership skills, and connect with like-minded and innovative business leaders and entrepreneurs.

And as a result, young professionals are leaving Arizona in droves, taking their college degrees and career skills elsewhere, and leaving a workforce gap behind.

The problem here is that this perception is actually a misperception, on two levels. For one, our state churns out an enormous pool of educated graduates each year from four-year institutions like Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University.

Our community college systems also play a critical role in developing career-ready individuals. And according to Dan Anderson, director of institutional analysis at the Arizona Board of Regents, 80 percent of Arizona graduates land work within the state right out of school, illustrating just how many young graduates do not flee as soon as soon as they toss their graduation caps in the air.

They’re looking for a place to settle in, lay roots, make connections and develop their skills. And Phoenix has no shortage of opportunities for them to do just that.

Matt Clyde

Matt Clyde

Just look at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s Valley Young Professionals, a great catalyst for young professionals to become future leaders of our community. VYP is more than just networking; it connects its members with business and community leaders.

Through unique professional development opportunities, young leaders build lasting, peer-to-peer relationships, mentor relationships and professional relationships that will carry throughout the course of their careers.

These connections foster a culture of collaboration and ensure that the business community in the Valley remains strong and robust for many years to come.

VYP stands apart from other young professional groups because we are able to leverage our relationships with more than 2,500 Chamber member organizations to provide truly unique experiences for our members.  Chamber members value the young talent in our community and go above and beyond to provide the group with behind-the-scenes business tours and access to top company executives. Recently, we gathered for exclusive, behind-the-scenes tours of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

VYP also hosts regular panels of business professionals who lend insight on topics young professionals care about, like building a personal brand to achieving a balanced work-life integration. One of our most successful annual programs is matches young professionals with Phoenix leaders for one-on-one coaching and mentoring to learn from successful business professionals in the community.

VYP is vitally important in giving new transplants to the Valley a sense of community while also providing long-time Phoenicians a platform to share their passion for what makes our city and state truly amazing.

The Valley Young Professionals are leading the charge in developing a community where highly skilled young people want to live, work and grow – and where sought-after companies want to thrive.

It will be exciting to see how the members of VYP become change makers in our community. We’re here. We’re invested. And we’re going to be the critical factor determining Arizona’s economic future.

Are you with us?

Editor’s Note: Matt Clyde is chief strategist, founder and president of Ideas Collide Marketing Communications and the chair of the Valley Young Professionals’ Board of Directors.

Editor’s note: Janelle Tassart is director of community relations at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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