The 2018 Young Professionals Summit of Vermont was held in Rutland, VT this past weekend. It was full of good ideas and inspirational humans. In attendance were over 70 young professionals from around the state of Vermont. Sessions throughout the day covered topics that span the interests of YPs across the state: Expanding Your Bubble, Attracting & Retaining a Young Workforce, Career Development for the Entrepreneur, The Essentials of Preparing for Homeownership, Your Community Wants You, and Change Agency for YP’s: Turning Community Connections into Political Power.
The BDCC Southern Vermont Young Professionals organized the program for three sessions during the day: “Attracting and Retaining a Young Workforce,” “Your Community Wants You: Local Engagement for Young Professionals” and “Change Agency for YP’s: Turning Community Connections into Political Power.” At the “Your Community Wants You” panel, select board members, commission members, non-profit board members, and board of aldermen members talked about their experiences as young professionals in these positions. What started out as a panel ended up as a pseudo-therapy session, which included many laughs from panel members and attendees alike.
The group dialogue with HR professionals reviewed benefits important to younger workers, such as volunteer time built into the work week, sessions on student loans with VSAC representatives, and flexible spending accounts (re: child care). According to the HR professionals, benefits like these are helping employers to attract and retain a younger workforce.
The day ended with keynote speaker Brett Gajda, host of the “Where There’s Smoke” podcast. Gajda touched on leadership, and told the audience to establish your core values, or others will decide them for you. The icing on the cake was when he called his son out on stage. His son’s advice to the YPs: “Treat the earth like you treat your good friends.”