I was hesitant because, after spending eleven years in other places, I was unsure where I would fit in. What would I do after work? How would I occupy my time on the weekends? I often wondered how young professionals who weren't from the area got acclimated, and assumed they struggled.
Three years ago, the Partnership launched our 360 program in response to concerns from our members who had difficulty attracting and retaining talented young professionals to our area. We said we would initiate a program to help young professionals accelerate their careers and get involved in the community. 360 grew and grew, and came to be known for connecting young professionals in social settings.
This summer, Christina Lopez was promoted to the position of Workforce Development at the Partnership and began overseeing the 360 program. Through her leadership, the program is expanding beyond its social roots, and is growing in three areas relevant to Buffalo Niagara's future leaders: leadership development, business networking and community involvement.
Three new programs have been added to the 360 calendar:
- Government Unplugged, which matches our area's young professionals with their peers in public service, offering both groups the opportunity to grow professionally and personally.
- Be-A-Mentor, which connects young professionals with service opportunities in inner-city schools.
- Game Changers, which showcases a special group entrepreneurs - the big-thinking, risk-taking, no excuses-making visionaries who are determined to start their own businesses right here in our region.
360 began its 2012 programming year a few weeks ago as hundreds joined together in the Larkin Center of Commerce for a Kickoff Celebration. It's not too late to get involved, and a $25 membership (waived if your company is a 360 member) gets you access to the whole year's calendar of events.
Learn more and get involved on the Buffalo Niagara 360 website.