Wrap Up Summer by Networking with Young Professionals in Gage County

Wrap Up Summer by Networking with Young Professionals in Gage County Main Photo

26 Jul 2023


The inability to find enough qualified workers is a consistent storyline everywhere today, from social media and industry news platforms to the local coffee shop. Its prominence has pushed the ongoing issue of support for existing workers to distant awareness. Not so in Gage County, Nebraska, where NGage and the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce are joining together to introduce the Young Professional Gage County (YPG), a networking and support organization for young professionals in the area. 

“The YPG mission to create connections will support young professionals by helping them create a sense of place in the Beatrice area,” said YPG leadership member and local business owner Erin Chadwick. “By helping to enhance their future career opportunities, our group will also support the local labor pool and area employers.” 

Membership to YPG is open today, and an application form can be accessed on the NGage website. The group’s initial Kick-Off Event is scheduled for August 24. 

Investing in the leaders of tomorrow

YPG is a coordinated effort to increase civic engagement by providing opportunities to empower, connect and develop the future leaders of the Gage County area. It is a refresh of the YP3 local young professionals group initiated by the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce in 2015 but discontinued in 2019. YP3 resulted from NGage’s participation in the Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process (ECAP) with the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension and Rural Futures program in collaboration with the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Beatrice.

“As we seek to help foster the younger working population into these leaders, we hope to help them feel a sense of place in their community, which we hope will ultimately increase civic engagement and retention within our Gage County community,” said Chadwick.

Participation by young professionals can lead to enhanced career opportunities by building social capital and expanding their networks and mentoring opportunities, developing leadership and self-advocation skills, experiencing the benefits of civic engagement, and broadening their general industry knowledge. Individuals like Alex Eckhoff, YPG Leadership Chair and owner of Envision Landscapes, are excited about what the group can help bring to the area. 

“Being born and raised in this area, I’m proud to be a small business owner in Beatrice, and young professionals like me are the future of Gage County,” said Eckhoff. “This group will connect us for networking, idea generation, support and resources.”

Nurturing these young professionals benefits employers by enhancing local labor pool retention. YPG falls within one of NGage’s central tenets within its strategic plan of ‘engaging our area youth by connecting them to career opportunities to increase their sense of place in the community.’ NGage believes investing in youth is crucial toward community development, said Chadwick. 

“NGage has focused efforts in other age demographics, like the Communities for Kids initiative for children in the 0-5 age range, so I am excited we are adding the relaunch of the Young Professionals Gage County to invest in the often-overlooked 20- to 40-somethings of Gage County,” she said.

Join today!

Membership is open now, and excitement is building, highlighted by the YPG Kick-Off Event on August 24, said Jessica Javorsky, Membership Chair for the YPG leadership and Development & Annual Giving Coordinator for Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation.

“I have heard ‘you get out of something what you are willing to put into it,’ so when the opportunity to gather with other young professionals came to Beatrice, I jumped on board,” she said. “I’m looking forward to making space in our community for networking, leadership development, and a chance for some of us non-locals to impact our community. I hope you will consider joining us to welcome new professionals to our community or as a young professional looking to grow your network and skills.”

Young Professional Gage County Kick-Off Event!

Drinks & Hors D’oeuvres
August 24
4 - 7 pm
Envision Landscapes Garden Center
2115 E. Court St. 

If you’re interested in joining, fill out this application and email the completed form to kjensen@beatricechamber.com or meganw@ngagegroup.org.

To learn more about Young Professionals Gage County, join the group on Facebook!