Attract, Retain and Engage

April 17, 2023Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

April is a special time of year for the Chamber. We’re in full swing with many events and programs all geared to celebrate the business community and those that spend their time strengthening our local economy.

But one event in particular is due for a special celebration and recognition – and that’s the Chamber’s Young Professional program turning eight years old this month.

Founded by the need to bring our young, emerging leaders together, AYP continues to serve our community as a proving ground for those who wish to serve – and to help them to understand the value of doing so.

Designed to engage the “under forty” demographic in the community, AYP offers a variety of opportunities to serve, whether it’s on a local non-profit committee or through service projects that impact our region.

It’s our hope that through the engagement of our young professionals, these aspiring leaders will learn the processes and tactics and gain the experiences and wisdom necessary to contribute to the long term success of our community. And while that process takes time and effort, we’re already seeing the impact.

The true intent behind all of the AYP effort is simple: the Abilene Chamber wants to help these up-and-comers to develop a circle of influence and a network of their peers that compels them to remain in Abilene, Texas, for the long-haul.

Remember – many communities lose their young talent to other cities. AYP helps to make the grass greener on our own side of the fence. When the available workforce is a community’s number one economic development challenge, every single contributor matters.

What was once a small group of 120 has since turned into close to 600 young professionals seeking to make an impact in our community.

So, I encourage you, if you have a young professional in the 21-40 demographic age range, have them join us on April 27th. We’ll celebrate our “AYP Birthday” with a casino themed evening complete with games, beverages, and food donations from town favorites such as Grain Theory, Food Theorie, Buffalo Wild Wings, and more.

Networking is vital for any young professional looking to build long-term business relationships and further their career goals. By encouraging your young staff to participate, it will allow them to expand their network while simultaneously building their personal brand, inviting opportunities, and expanding their effectiveness within your organization.

I’d like to thank the AYP Steering Committee and those who are working hard to ensure a successful event for their dedication and determination.

I hope you’ll consider encouraging your folks to participate.





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