Have you ever uttered the words, “There’s nothing to do in Rhinelander?” Are you between the ages of 21 and 40? If so you have already checked off two of the necessary boxes to learn more about the Rhinelander Young Professionals Group.
The Rhinelander Young Professionals is a program run by the Chamber that has the ultimate goal of helping the “younger” generation make a connection, get involved and take ownership in the Rhinelander community. I think any of you that are involved in community organizations, civic groups or non-profits can all agree that attracting both new and younger volunteers can be a challenge.
For myself I moved to the Northwoods straight out of college and I can readily admit I felt like a fish out of water. I had moved from Indianapolis, Indiana which doesn’t have a whole lot in common with Rhinelander. I remember wondering, “Where is the mall?” and “What no Starbucks?” But then as I became more familiar with town I found the great little retail shops we have and the amazing options for grabbing a cup of coffee, which are way better than Starbucks. The goal of the Young Professionals group is to help those who might be moving to our community to take a job at one of the school districts, manufacturing businesses or one of our small businesses to get acquainted with our community, make friends, learn some new hobbies and most of all fall in love with the Northwoods so they want to stay here and raise their families and become part of our community. Or if they are someone who grew up in the Rhinelander area we want to give them a reason to stay.
Recently the Young Professionals group underwent a bit of a restructuring. We’ve decided to focus on networking, social and educational workshops and community involvement and volunteering. In hopes of getting more people involved we’ve also decided to hold monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m., with exceptions for special outings and events or volunteering activities.
This month we happen to have two of those exceptions. Our educational workshop will be held this coming Tuesday evening October 22nd at Hodag Lanes where we’ll be learning to carve artistic pumpkins. Then those interested will enter their pumpkins into the Downtown Pumpkin Glow Contest being held on Saturday Oct. 26. There is no cost to attend, just bring a pumpkin for carving.
We’ll also provide the pizza and soda to make sure everyone is carving on a full stomach. Then also next week the group will be running one of the booths during the YMCA’s Annual “Not So Scary Halloween Trail” on Friday Oct. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. We’ll need help setting up, running our trail spot and cleaning up afterwards. If either of these activities sound fun we want you to join us. Just give me a call at the Chamber for more information on either of these two upcoming activities and how you can get involved.
If the October dates don’t work and you still would like to know more about the Young Professionals then give me a call. Or perhaps you are reading this and you are a business or HR professional in the area and you are thinking, “You know what this program would be perfect for our new hires.” Then I want you to give me a call as well. I’d love to come in and talk to your employees or make sure we get them signed up to get our emails and updates. Or maybe you want to join our Facebook group; just search for the Rhinelander Young Professionals and you’ll find us.
What I hope is you’ll think about joining us for our next outing. I hate to say our group is for a certain age bracket, job profession or even background. The ultimate goal of group is to help fight the so called brain drain and keep a younger generation of folks in the Rhinelander area to work at our businesses, teach our students and help run our community organizations. So take a look at the Young Professionals Group and let me know if you think you can get involved.
Lara Reed is available at 715-365-7464.