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YCEA working online to help grow, retain women leaders

The group launched a site this month to keep professional information for women in one easy-to-access site

Wilda Alessi, vice president, chamber operations for the York County Economic Alliance - (Photo / Submitted)

The York County Economic Alliance wants to make it easy for women to find the professional resources they may need.

Need information on mentoring? Volunteering? Financial resources and monthly educational workshops targeted at helping women grow professionally? An online resource is now available. 
Think of it as a one-stop shop for leadership and professional development, said Wilda Alessi, vice president of chamber operations for the YCEA.

The site, Professional Women’s Alliance, launched April 1, in conjunction with the alliance’s annual dinner 

At the very basic, it is a resource center for business women,” Alessi said.  

Alessi sat down with the Business Journal last month to talk about its launch, and the need for this resource in the York County community.  


Why did the YCEA initiate this resource?

It’s an online resource that lists alliance member and other professional group activities that are offered locally, Alessi said. The site also lists regional and national programs available for women to use on their professional journey — workshops, roundtables, luncheons. The alliance has identified and catalogued a number of those resources in the community.


What are some examples?

Event round tables by Athena; Women’s Business Center Organization at York CollegeYork Traditions Bank: Her Traditions Luncheon. There are education opportunities with Leadership York, Susquehanna SCORE and the Women’s Network of YorkThe site lists mentorship, volunteerism and newsletter links, Alessi said. 


Why is there a need for this?

The alliance is doing this to show a critical mass of resources available to women in any stage of their career, she said. From those starting out to C-suite executives. The alliance found that there was no local resource curating and collecting that information, she said.   


Why is it important for YCEA to start this program?

The alliance needed to show the community that these resources exist. Everyone is doing their own thing, but not everyone who seeks these resources necessarily knows where to find them. The alliance’s role as a resource center curates that content on one site.   

One of the end goals? Retaining women leaders in the community, Alessi said. The alliance wants women leaders to stay in the community, have them serve on boards and be appointed to more leadership positions. 


The website has launched, what’s next?

The next phase is due diligence. Now that the alliance is listing resources, it is looking for areas where it can put its seal on them, similar to the Good Housekeeping seal, Alessi explained. The alliance will help to answer the question for the enrollee/attendee. Is it money well spent?

Cathy Hirko
Cathy Hirko is Associate Publisher/Editorial Director for the Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business. Email her at [email protected].

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