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York, Lancaster young professional groups mark 20 years

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York Young Professionals
York Young Professionals - (Photo / )

Two Central Pennsylvania organizations that cater to young professionals aren't so young anymore.

The York Young Professionals and the Lancaster Young Professionals are both celebrating their 20th anniversaries this year. The York group has 200 members, while the Lancaster group has 400.

Both organizations began in 1999 with the goal of connecting young professionals with each other, with the professional community, and with the culture, history and opportunities in their respective cities.

Laurin Gross, president of York Young Professionals since November, described the group as a catalyst to make York a great place to live, work and play – which also is the group’s motto.

In pursuit of its goal, YYP offers monthly networking socials for members and potential members. The events are typically held in different locations each month to give members the chance to experience new businesses, and each one often draw over 100 people, Gross said, depending on the location and time of year.

LYP offers similar socials, according to April Book, who has been the Lancaster group’s president since 2016. She said that LYP was founded as the Young Professionals Network. Over the years, it has added membership and events. It now holds 36 to 40 events per year, including socials and professional development meetings.

Both groups offer professional development meetings where members can learn about various aspects of business and professional life, including the importance of networking, leadership, investing, workplace harassment, workplace transitions and professional opportunities, as well as basic “adulting” tasks such as filing taxes, learning about insurance, and managing 401(k)s and other retirement funds.

The two groups also hold three or four larger events that help young professionals become acquainted with their communities. LYP offers business and home tours each year, while also holding industry events where professionals can learn about prominent companies in Lancaster and tour their facilities.

Lancaster Young Professionals
Lancaster Young Professionals - ()

Both groups offer professional development meetings where members can learn about various aspects of business and professional life, including the importance of networking, leadership, investing, workplace harassment, workplace transitions and professional opportunities, as well as basic “adulting” tasks such as filing taxes, learning about insurance, and managing 401(k)s and other retirement funds.

The two groups also hold three or four larger events that help young professionals become acquainted with their communities. LYP offers business and home tours each year, while also holding industry events where professionals can learn about prominent companies in Lancaster and tour their facilities.

Both organizations are making plans to celebrate their milestone year. Book said that LYP may acknowledge the milestone in a special way when it holds its annual, end-of-the year gala. The purpose of the gala, Book said, is to recognize members who excel in the community and in the workforce.

YYP’s plans are more set in stone. They include a redesigned logo and some special events throughout the year.

One will be a “Live, Work, Play” tour, which will be similar to the annual home tour the organization used to host during its first decade of existence. The event was held each year to showcase city living, Gross said.

The York group also plans to host this year’s annual Regional Young Professionals Mixer, which is a gathering of young professional clubs from all over Central Pennsylvania.

This year’s capstone event will be a New Year’s Eve party, held at the Valencia Ballroom in York.

“What better way to end the year then by giving a community party?” she said.

If successful, YYP might host the end-of-year party every year, Gross said.

YYP and the LYP both accept members over the age of 21, although there is no upper age limit. The typical age range for both groups is between 25 and 35.

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Maria Yohn Nease

Maria Yohn Nease covers banking, finance and York county. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at mnease@cpbj.com.

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