The founders of the Rogers County Young Professional Organization (RCPYO will have its first event from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 4 at Will Rogers Downs Cherokee Casino.
The new organization is a networking organization of young professionals ranging in age from 21 to 40.
The event, a “Mega Mixer,” is designed to give interested members of the community an opportunity to learn more about the organization. The evening will include a networking session and a keynote talk by Sen. Sean Burrage. The event is free but an RSVP is required.
“This organization is a stepping stone in making our community a place that embraces the younger generation’s needs and values and helps them integrate into the community. It is important for our generation to feel a sense of belonging,” said Lynn Wilson RCPYO president and business services coordinator Rogers State University’s Innovation Center. “My husband and I moved here several years ago and found it difficult to connect with people our age. We want the RCYPO to give young professionals an instant network so they will be more likely to remain in Rogers County.”
In the past several years young professional organizations have been created across the country and there are several in the Tulsa area, Wilson said. The Rogers County group plans to work with area young professional groups to bring more resources to its members.
Experts say that young professionals are important to the economy of a region and groups such as RCPYO can be a boon for local economies.
“Most leading economic development consultants view young professional organizations as a critical component of emerging communities. This organization will help attract and retain the young talent that will become vital to our growing economy by providing a skilled and knowledgeable labor force especially in the next decade as members of the Baby Boomer generation leave the workforce,” said Tim Hight, director of business development for the Claremore Industrial Economic Development Authority.
The group plans to hold many types of events including social events that provide members an opportunity to have fun and make new friends, Wilson said. Some of the social events will be geared towards adults and others will be family events.
In addition, there will be professional development events that will allow members to develop skills for personal and professional success, she said.
Several members have already been recruited to serve on the steering committee, which will serve as the board of directors for the organization. Board members include Matt Mueller of the City of Claremore, Casey Loper of Edward Jones, Jerad Girten of Northeast Technology Centers, Rachael Spencer, Kellie Shultz of RSU, Debbie McCall of Cherokee Casino, Christie Prather of Express Personnel, Emily Wiswell of HydroHoist, Howard Drake of Bank of Commerce, and Lynn Wilson of RSU.
The organization is looking for members age 21 to 40 who live or work in Rogers County. The regular membership fee is $35 and the special student membership rate is $20 annually.
For more information about the organization, events and membership, contact Wilson at [email protected] or (918) 343-7622.