New WS Campaign to Retain Young Professionals Under 40
One Triad city works to retain young professionals.
This month, the Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce is launching Winston Under 40. The goal of this group is to cultivate young, well-rounded business leaders who will stay in the area, raise a family and contribute to the growth of the community.Haley Gingles is the Director of Marketing and Communication for the chamber. She says the biggest challenge to retaining young professionals in Winston-Salem is overcoming the city's stigma. "This city is a little, sleepy tobacco town, there's not much to do here and it's not a thriving environment for a professional under 40," explains Gingles. But she says the enhancement of the Innovation Quarter and changes to the city's downtown area are helping to change that old image. "There's so many more restaurants and bars and places where people can go and things people can do, so there's more to do outside of your work environment," says Gingles.According a recent Chamber survey, many young professionals who come to Winston-Salem want to engage in groups that will enrich their career growth. "They are interested in community engagement, really being involved in the political process, learning about our school board, learning about our county commissioners," says Gingles. "They want social activities, just to have fun, but more in a business environment. Lastly, they want to meet some of the movers and shakers in Winston-Salem."Gingles says there are other groups in the area catering to young professionals, but Winston Under 40 is unique because it promotes business activities young professionals can put on their resume. She says the group already has about 200 members after only a few weeks of promoting it. There's no membership fee and people can easily join Winston Under 40 online. Organizers are relying heavily on social media to promote the group. For example, an event email will go out every first and third Tuesday of each month. The first social event will be March 27 at the Carolina Ale House across from the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem.