In the fall of 2004, research from Visioneering Wichita revealed the need for an action plan to address the future requirements for young intellectual capital in Wichita. Not only did members of the community confirm that an organization such as YPW was necessary, but the cold, hard facts revealed that it was vital to this community, the heartland and the region. In their studies, they found that if employees do not establish relationships outside the work environment within three to six months, they are more likely to leave. Also, each young Wichitan that is exported from our community costs $300,000 in lost investment.
The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce realized the pressing need to proactively enter the fiercely competitive global market for young professionals. Young Professionals of Wichita was launched in June 2005, with a vision of making Wichita the Heartland’s destination for young intellectual capital. With membership of 3,100 and growing, our organization is comprised of bright, energetic YPs who promise to be actively engaged in the growth of Wichita over the coming years.
YPW offers innovative ways for young professionals, typically ages 21-39, in the Wichita area to socialize and expand their professional horizons. This provides a unique professional asset, both to the young people of this community and to the businesses and corporations that help Wichita thrive.
YPW takes pride in being a volunteer-driven organization. This means that volunteer leaders take an active role in event and programming choices, new initiatives and holding the organization accountable to its mission. Several groups work together to ensure the long-term health of YPW.
The Board of Trustees is YPW’s most direct connection to our membership. The Board of Trustees consists of a past chair, chair, chair-elect, secretary, action team leaders, a corporate investor representative, community advisors, YPW members at large and staff. Meeting monthly, they participate in long term strategic planning and development of YPW, help to ensure quality communication between all facets of the organization, assist in setting goals, and ground-level program planning.
The Community Advisors serve on the Board of Trustees and are community leaders who have diverse ethnic, professional and demographic backgrounds, but share a common passion for the health and prosperity of Wichita. They provide direction, guidance, mentoring and leadership development.
YPW’s corporate investors are an essential part of YPW’s past and future successes. These businesses believe that attracting, engaging and retaining young talent is vital to Wichita’s future. They invest in YPW to ensure that their employees and others in the business community have access to high quality events and programs that are designed specifically for young professionals. The Advisory Council convenes representatives from each of YPW’s corporate investors quarterly to help define expectations, evaluate outcomes and assist with corporate marketing and YP recruitment. The Advisory Council Chair serves on the Board of Trustees.
YPW has two full-time staff members who work with the organizations volunteers, investors, sponsors, and partners to carry out the mission. In addition, we look to hire interns from our regional universities to assist us on occasion.