Young professionals: The future of Macomb County

Macomb County has a large number of well-established groups, chambers and community organizations. These groups are unique in their own purpose or mission. I myself belong to several of them, some of which I serve as a board member. I find an immense value in the relationships I have built on those boards. When looking around the board table or at the event, I find that there are many professionals – but not many YOUNG professionals in attendance.

I wanted to connect with those young professionals. After a few discussions with other organizations, we identified a core group of people who saw a need for an organized body of young, active, community-minded leaders to engage in community visioning, promote Macomb County’s assets and foster professional development. By getting young professionals invested in the county’s future, we can strengthen the local economy, care for the community and leverage the influence of the younger generation in future planning.

NextGEN is engaged leaders having fun and participating in professional development and community events. We have done a number of community projects as a group. NextGEN helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity, volunteered at the Sterling Heights Community Foundation’s  Putting on the Ritz event honoring Mayor Richard Notte, gave our time to the American Heart Association walk in Mount Clemens and participated in Macomb County place making, just to name a few.

This group meets at locations throughout the county and we hope that you will join us! We are hosting a Launch Party on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Three Blind Mice in Mount Clemens. The doors open at 6 p.m. County Executive Mark A. Hackel will be in attendance.

I will be there to give some information on NextGEN Macomb. However, most importantly to us, we want to hear the answer to one of these two questions: “I will stay in Macomb if….” or “I will make Macomb my home if…..” This is our campaign to find out what is important to young professionals about the place you live, work and play. It is sure to be an awesome event!

If you are not able to join us, we encourage you to take our approximate 10-minute survey nextgenmacomb.org/2014survey. It’s anonymous, but will help us shape our agenda as we move into 2015! Be part of the action plan!

Kevin Chandler, Associate Dean – Arts & Sciences, Macomb Community College; President – NextGEN Macomb.

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