A new branch of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce - Liberal Young Professionals (LYP) - is blossoming into new opportunities for young adults in Liberal.
The mission of LYP is to build a network of young professionals in the Liberal area who have a focus on enriching the community through volunteer efforts, continued learning opportunities and the retention of young professionals.
LYP was formed in July 2013 after leaders of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce recognized the need for an organization tailored for young residents.
"In an effort to retain our young people, the Liberal Chamber is very excited to help establish the Liberal Young Professionals group," Chamber executive director Rozelle Webb said. "LYP will provide a great opportunity for our young professionals to connect back to our community, increase their personal development, and foster new personal and business friendships."
Similar to young professional organizations in surrounding communities, the new LYP group is open to members between 20 and 40 years old and aims to provide opportunities for learning and development, social networking, and volunteer projects that benefit Liberal as a whole. Through these efforts, members hope to help retain young residents who are willing to step up and become involved in community life.
“Liberal’s residents serve as our greatest resource for future growth,” member Keeley Moree said. “LYP is really aimed to give young people the chance to become involved in driving positive change now, rather than waiting to join community boards and committees later in life.”
The vision for LYP is to serve as the foundation which allows young professionals to establish roots to help them grow and thrive in Liberal. Members hope the group will slow the flow of young talent out of the community.
“It is a challenge for employers to build successful businesses with a constant fluidity of employees," member Mariah Cline explained. "Businesses in Liberal will flourish when good employees come to Liberal and stay; and when our businesses thrive, so will our community.”
While LYP has a tough challenge to tackle, members say the group benefits not just the community, but those who join.
"Coming into Liberal not knowing anyone can be difficult," LYP member and new Liberal resident Elyse Molstad said. "I was so relieved to hear of the Young Professional's group. Meeting other like minded people with similar goals and interests can take an unfamiliar place and turn it into home."
An LYP kickoff event sponsored by High Plains Pizza is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 inside the Rock Island Depot. Pizza and refreshments will be served and LYP members will provide more information about LYP’s goals. Anyone interested in attended the kickoff or joining LYP is encouraged to contact Brenda Headrick at the Liberal Chamber of Commerce at (620) 624-3855. Meeting information and announcements can also be found at Facebook.com/LiberalYoungProfessionals.