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The road to revitalization; Let's support young professionals as they rise to their new roles.

Yp. It is a two letter term heard more frequently these days. Two years ago, no one would know how large of an impact this acronym would have on the way we're doing business today. YP refers to young professionals. They are under 40, creative thinking, hard working and an integral part of our workforce. They fill jobs in all sectors of the economy, such as health care, finance, legal, public relations and IT. But they are also a major driving force in revitalizing the creative economy in Southeast Michigan in the areas of the arts, film, graphic design, music and pure entrepreneurship.

As the Detroit Region continues its transformation into the "New Economy," supporting YPs and their talents will be a key factor in its success. YPs know the importance of supporting each other and the community; it is the way to achieve economic prosperity. The entire business community must understand this, too.

The facts that the current workforce in Metro Detroit is rapidly nearing retirement age and only 30 percent of the region's population has a bachelor's degree are good reasons why young professionals are now in the spotlight. They are the best at attracting, retaining and involving the under-40 segment of the population that the future of our region is dependant upon.


Young professional organizations (YPOs) are groups that support young

professionals and the communities that they live in. YPOs are not a new trend that is sweeping the country. Even though they are receiving more attention now because of their importance, many have been in existence for years. Across the nation, some groups have been active for more than seven, ten and 20 years (New Orleans' YPO has been existence for more than 25 years).

In this region, many groups, such as Detroit Synergy, Detroit Jaycees, Stay Place Social Club and AdCraft PM have been active for over seven years. See the sidebar for more information about these groups.

Over a year ago, the Detroit Regional Chamber launched Fusion to proactively attract, retain and develop our region's human capital into future leaders. Fusion's other purpose is to build connections between young professionals, businesses and the community and create Detroit as a destination to live, work and play.

Shortly after Fusion's launch, United Way's Leadership Next emerged, followed up this year by Detroit Young Professionals.

It is amazing to know that there are over 30 YPOs in Southeast Michigan. Each has their own niche focus areas such as leadership, community projects, industry specific, community service, networking, sports, race relations, gender specific, private club affinity groups, the arts, etc. But all are working toward the same goal: to make this region a better place to live.

Fusion, with its focus on economic and human capital development, saw the need for communication and collaboration between these organizations. As the lead convener of young professional organizations, the groups have been meeting for over six months, forming the Young Professionals Leadership Council (YPLC], The purpose of the YPLC is to provide a forum where they could communicate with one another and develop synergies under a unified voice. They collectively agreed the key issues that must be handled together were regionalism, quality of life, regional perception and civic impact. They are in the process of forming a plan of action that will be tied into the Mackinac Policy Conference's priorities, as well as One D.


Young professionals have been ready to be part of the change and transition into the new economy. They are actually already affecting change, and we should not be intimidated or hold them back in their efforts. This region must get younger and smarter in order for the economy to begin ticking upwards. We must embrace the innovation and creativity that comes with getting "younger."

We should be proud of how this generation is helping to guide the future of the region. The leadership strength and creativity of our "bench" is phenomenal. As business owners, political and civic leaders, we should be proud of who will eventually be succeeding us and continue to support their efforts. Our future is here standing beside us. Let's walk with them on Detroit Region's road to revitalization.

Tammy Cam me is COO of the Detroit Regional Chamber

RELATED ARTICLE: Other YP organizations in the region

Stay Play Social Club

The SPSC mission is to provide quality Sport Leagues in a fun and safe atmosphere for young professionals, to build personals and business relationships by offering special events, happy hours, travel and business relationships by offering special events, happy hours, travel and social outings, to provide special opportunities for SPSC participants through It Pays To Play! and to make a difference through social impact with charitable organizations in the Detroit area.

Urban Land Institute, Young Leaders Group

The mission of the Urban Land Institute it to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. As the preeminent, multidisciplinary real estate forum. ULI facilitates the open exchange of ideas, information and experience among local, national and international industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places.

DAC Intermediates

The focus of recent discussion in the region is the outflow of out talented young professionals to other parts of the country. There is no question that this is indeed occurring. But a good number of us have decided to stay in Detroit for very specific reasons-we see the opportunity of a growing young professional and social environment and want to be a bart of the discussion that will shape Michigan's future. The Detroit Athletic Club Intermediates seek to foster that environment by cultivating the kind of social connectivity that will attract professionals in our age group to this region.

Red Cross Club Red

Club Red supports and advances the mission of the American Red Cross-Southeastern Michigan Chapter-to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people, prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies - through substantive voluntary engagement by young adults in service delivery, funds sing. external communication, and other special projects for the Southeastern Michigan Chapter. Young professionals are looking for meaningful ways to give back to the community but also ways to meet the needs of their busy professional schedules. Club red is just one of many newly emerging young professional groups taking aim to shape not only the future of one of the highly most regarded nonprofit organizations but to help enrich the quality of life in southeast Michigan.

United Way's Leadership Next

Leadership Next's mission is to engage emerging talent in building vibrant and caring communities in the Detroit region. Organizations such as these provide emerging leaders with meaningful opportunities to get connected to community impact and change. Leadership Next strongly supports collaboration between the organizations engaging these emerging leaders, as it saves resources, enhances the individual efforts of each organization and builds a strong foundation for future regional collaboration.
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Title Annotation:Attract Retrain and Retain Talent
Author:Carnrike, Tammy
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Previous Article:Detroit's changing workforce; Retiring baby boomers, evolving industries and advanced degrees are shaking things up.
Next Article:The last stop; Musings from a midwestern gyspy.

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