Hamilton HIVE sets model for cohesive young professional organization

This article was originally published in Hamilton Media Guild, December 3, 2013.

The ‘buzz’ of this overarching young professional group is heard outside of the city

Hamilton’s young professionals are creating a buzz beyond the boundaries of steel town.

About 240 young professionals gathered Saturday at the third annual #HIVEX conference, Click Here, to network and discuss ways to revitalize the city. #HIVEX is Hamilton’s premier young professional conference created to engage professionals under 40, showcasing career opportunities and fostering an appreciation of the city.

Plenty of connections were made including Julie He who was sent by the City of London.

He was there to seek inspiration for London from Hamilton’s umbrella organization of young professionals, Hamilton HIVE.

“It’s nice to see what other cities are doing to bring young professionals together,” said the 24-year-old He, who is a research intern at the City of London. Her supervisor heard about #HIVE while attending a conference and suggested that He attend the event – and take a honeycomb out of HIVE.

London wants to form a young professional organization, said He, and she hoped to return home with ideas for the City’s initiative.

There are numerous young professional groups in London, including the Young Professionals’ Group (YPG) and Emerging Leaders. Both non-profits are dedicated to retention of young professionals by creating social networks, development and engagement opportunities for 20 to 40 year olds.

There is also a London Youth Advisory Council (LYAC), an elected council of 13 youths between 16 to 24. They represent youth at a municipal level and offer policy recommendations to the City.

But there isn’t a coordinating organization like HIVE that brings together all of London’s young professional groups, noted He, who was born in China and moved to London in 2011 to pursue a Masters in Public Administration at Western University.

“If we have an organization that organizes groups from different sectors, it can bring all these little groups together,” she said.

A conference like #HIVEX is key for young professionals to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

“It’s good for the city, because it brings energy together. Young people have a lot of creative thinking and ideas. We need to bring them together and inspire each other.”

Out of the total number of attendees, 34 were from outside of Hamilton, coming from Oakville, Toronto, North York, Grimbsy to as far west as Uxbridge.