CBICC Connect focuses on young professionals

Upon graduation, a young professional may have links with his or her fellow classmates, but finding other like-minded professionals may pose a challenge.

The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County announced the CBICC Connect program Wednesday, a news release said, in order to identify and connect new college graduates, young professionals and “next generation leaders in Centre County.”

“By 2030, millennials will make up the majority of the workforce,” CBICC President Vern Squier said in the release. “It’s important for the health of our local economy to better understand this demographic and make a proactive effort to incorporate them into CBICC programming, as well as in other places within our community.”

The group will first offer a survey to gauge the life, work and entertainment priorities of this demographic, the release said. Those findings will help identify areas of opportunities for these professionals, creating a more balanced community.

Connect will also link graduates to the business community, the release said.

“There are pockets of young professionals throughout the community,” Squier said. “This group will provide a space for them to collaborate and expand their professional network, among themselves and also with the more deeply rooted business community.”

A workgroup is seeking more ideas in how to grow the scope of the group, the release said. The group includes Vuong PR CEO Vinh Vuong, Centre Daily Times Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Janet Santostefano and Centre Foundation Events Coordinator Irene Miller.

“We’re looking forward to hosting more events geared toward the CBICC Connect crowd,” Squier said, “both from a networking perspective and with regard to the topics of our own programming.”

Young professionals are encouraged to join Connect and take the survey through

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews