The Central Penn Business Journal’s annual Forty Under 40 event recognizes the region’s next generation of business leaders. And after much anticipation, the awards ceremony next month is quickly approaching.
As we at CPBJ gear up for Oct. 9, I wanted to see what this year’s class is made of. To what professions do today’s young professionals gravitate? How many of us are in leadership or management roles? Does this year’s class possess that startup mindset for which millennials are notorious? Are we as unloyal to our jobs as we’re accused of being? (Hint: I don’t think so!) I crunched the numbers to gain some insight.
Interested in attending the Forty Under 40 evening awards ceremony on Oct. 9 at the Hilton Harrisburg? Register here.
To start, this year’s Forty Under 40 class members run the gamut in terms of where they work. Industries represented include small banks, credit unions and financial firms, as well as national ones; local law firms, health systems and nonprofits; small business and franchise owners; tech; consulting; construction and engineering; and higher ed.
As a woman, I admit that this next stat was a little disappointing to me. Of this year’s award winners, 27 identify as men, and 13 as women.
The year’s class skews toward the tail-end of the millennial generation, with all but one being in their 30s. And judging from the pictures this year’s award winners submitted (Is that creepy that I went through them all? Sorry …), at least 26 are parents. So … does that reinforce or contradict previous Business Journal reporting that millennials are having fewer kids and having them later in life?
Demographics aside, more than 30 of this year’s 40U40 class are in some kind of management position, according to their self-reported titles. At least nine are one of or THE top executive at their companies, and at least four are founders of small businesses that all employ 15 people or less.
On that note, twelve on this year’s list of winners work for companies that employ 1-50 people, according to their own reporting. Eight work for companies with 51-100 employees, and another 12 work for companies that employ between 100 and 500 people. Yet another award winner works for an 850-employee company; three work for companies that are between 1,000 and 10,000 employees; and two work for companies that employ over 10,000 people. Two award winners did not report company size.
Now, about that negative company-loyalty stereotype … this year’s Forty Under 40 class seems to disprove that one. The largest chunk of this year’s award recipients – 35 percent – have been in their industries for 11 to 15 years. Considering the oldest young professionals have likely only been in the workforce for about 20 years, that percentage is no small number. Nine have been in their fields for one to five years and 12 for six to 10 years. Just five have been in their professions for 16 or more years.
Dauphin County companies took the largest share of this year’s class makeup, with 14 based there. Cumberland, York and Lancaster-based companies all tied, each with eight companies represented on the 40U40 list. One award winner works for a Franklin County company, and another did not report a county.
Which takeaway do you think is the most telling about our generation and about our demographic in Central Pennsylvania? What makes you most proud? What would you like to see more of in next year’s class? Or rather: If you see something missing from this list (If I’m being honest, diversity among the award recipients is lacking), let’s fix that by nominating our peers and colleagues deserving recognition next year.
I’d love to keep this discussion going on the CPBJ Young Professionals Facebook group. Visit here.
Here are some photos from last year’s event: