Young professionals are the future building blocks for your organization and our business community. They are eager to effect change and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
Nearly nine years ago, the Billings Chamber of Commerce recognized the opportunity to serve as a convener of motivated young professionals that would soon play a significant role in championing issues that would and will impact not only their generation, but future generations. This is Billings NextGEN, a program of the Billings Chamber of Commerce and the leading social and business networking group dedicated to building a better Billings. The NextGEN network exists to foster relationships among young professionals, to develop business opportunities and to promote an overall investment in the future of our community. Comprised of motivated, energetic young professionals, NextGEN offers a variety of events for professional development growth, community engagement and opportunities for personal interaction to truly network and develop friendships. By providing young professionals with access, education and connections, NextGEN is the premier young professional group in the state.
NextGEN serves as a talent engagement and retention strategy for many organizations as we work diligently to help young professionals build relationships within the community, making them more likely to stay. NextGEN unites individuals with experiences that elevate their connection to Billings and allows them to flourish, while also aligning their career ambitions with opportunities and programs like the NextGEN Mentorship Program. Mentorship assists young professionals in expanding their network and offers resources that aid in professional development and personal growth. This program is an incredible opportunity for both mentors and mentees to invest in the future of our workforce and community. NextGEN has an established full-circle mentoring program also allowing NextGENers to serve as mentors to high school and college students.
Professional development opportunities are imperative for your career at every stage. When you are a young professional just starting out, educational development and learning opportunities should be built into your career plan and regularly sought out. NextGEN has crafted an entire annual educational series targeted at developing leadership skills and helping individuals grow in ways that can help them advance in their careers. Through this five-month series, young professionals learn a variety of topics designed to give you personal and professional enrichment. The topics focus on elevating your professional skills while better understanding your personal strengths. Professional development is extremely important, and this is especially true for young people who are early in their professional career and looking for guidance and training.
Many young professionals have used NextGEN as a springboard to further involvement in the Chamber and the broader community. Young professionals appreciate feeling valued and that their voices are heard. A sense of belonging with opportunities to contribute and advance community projects and initiatives keeps them engaged. This creates an increased purpose for their involvement.
If you are interested in learning more about getting involved in NextGEN, please visit BillingsNextgen.com.
Written By: Cathy Grider, Workforce Development Manager Billings Chamber of Commerce