When Greatist.com ranked Cleveland as the #7 best city for 20-Somethings, it cited the fact that we’re one of the best places for new college grads, filled with job openings (especially in manufacturing and engineering), and Draft Magazine’s Beertown, U.S.A.
Another reason I’d add to this list: all of the opportunities available for Cleveland Young Professionals to socialize, network and give back to the community.
While the city’s YP groups usually have events throughout the year, it seems like the next couple of weeks are particularly filled with them. Here are just a few to mark on your calendar:
Cleveland Foodbank YP KickOff – Sept. 27
As I mentioned in last week’s post about Hunger Action Month, the Cleveland Foodbank is launching a new program for Young Professionals. And next Thursday, Sept. 27, they’re hosting a happy hour at Grovewood Tavern to unveil the name of the group and plans for future events.
From 6-8PM, a senior Foodbank staff member will be onsite to answer questions about poverty and hunger in Cleveland and discuss the Foodbank’s programs and volunteer opportunities.
And for every two canned goods you bring, you’ll receive a drink ticket (maximum of two drink tickets).
You can RSVP and learn more at clevelandfoodbankyp.eventbrite.com.
I’ve found my experiences volunteering for the Cleveland Foodbank to be extremely rewarding and the fact that everyone deserves to have food on their table is very important to me. As a member of this new YP group, you’d be able to get involved, help set the direction for the organization and really further the impact the Foodbank has on our region.
As a side note: Earlier on the same night, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Engage Cleveland will be co-hosting a Pop-Up Party at the Colonial Marketplace. The historic space is taking a new lease on Downtown Cleveland Retail and the Marketplace’s developer will be available for attendees who’d like to share their ideas on the stores and businesses they want to see in the space.
Since the Downtown Pop-Up starts at 5pm, you can stop by, share your ideas, and head to the Cleveland Foodbank happy hour to wrap up your night.
PlayhouseSquare OSU Party – Sept. 29
Are you ready for some football? On Saturday, Sept. 29, Partners - PlayhouseSquare’s YP group - is hosting their annual OSU party during the Buckeyes-Michigan State game.
Doors open at 3pm at the Blind Pig with kickoff at 3:30pm. Admission is free but you can also take advantage of a special deal on food and drink during the game. For $25 in advance/$30 at the door, enjoy 4 hours of unlimited pizza, pasta, wings, beer, wine and well drinks.
Even if you aren’t a college football fan, this event is a great opportunity to help raise money for PlayhouseSquare’s Bus Fund. Proceeds from the food and drink packages, as well as raffles and the silent auction will provide much-needed funding to local schools who are unable to afford transportation to PlayhouseSquare shows.
Learn more here and make your reservation by calling 216-640-8416 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other upcoming PlayhouseSquare Partners events include:
Why Stay YP Conference – Oct. 6
The Why Stay Conference is an all-day conference that’s free and open to any Cleveland young professional. Through a partnership with BET, TV20, Cleveland State University, SOUP, and the Hip Hop Caucus, the event will provide discussions about programs, industries, issues and activities for young professionals in the area.
Described as a “Do-ference,” Why Stay attendees will also take an active role in formulating a plan for Cleveland young professionals alongside local leaders like County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.
Why Stay will be separated into three tracks – Work, Play, and Stay. Some of the sessions include “Education and Bridging the Gap,” “Cleveland’s Food Scene” and “Marketing Cleveland to the World.”
After a day of brainstorming, the event wraps up with a Town Hall and Wine Tasting.
Learn more about this inaugural conference at whystaycle.com and RSVP at whystay2012.eventbrite.com.
Whether the arts, volunteering, or community development are your interests, there’s never been a better time for Cleveland’s young professionals to get out there, get engaged and be enriched. Another bonus is that many of these opportunities are free to attend (I love free - free is great!).
However, these are just a few options; if you’re interested in seeing what Cleveland’s other YP organizations are up to, Engage Cleveland has an excellent resource page at engagecleveland.com/yps.
If you’d like to share an upcoming event for young professionals that I didn’t mention, leave it in the comments!
Disclosure: I am a board member of PlayhouseSquare Partners and on the YP Council of the Cleveland Foodbank. From time to time, I will post on upcoming events hosted by these organizations; however, these are events I truly think are interesting beyond my involvement in any organization.