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Community Profile: Roanoke/New River Valley


A volunteer group, eXperience YP, was formed in 2013 to engage and connect young professionals in the Roanoke area.


vice president at the public relations firm ndp, was instrumental in establishing eXperience YP. The original idea was to focus on graduates of nearby colleges. The group, however, quickly learned that it could make a bigger difference by concen- trating on young professionals already in the labor market. The volunteers needed to show millennials, in Becher’s words, “There’s a lot of great potential, and there’s more here than you might think.” The group has held three annual


conferences focusing on professional development, and it’s put together a series of quarterly meetings, called eXpand, aimed at keeping the project’s momentum going. Attendance at the conferences has ranged from 100 to 200 people, according to Becher. While the program is built around


On the other hand, the Pew


Research Center says that, although mil- lennials are less likely to have a spouse or house to tie them to a place, they’re also less likely to move than previous genera- tions did at the same age.


eXperience YP A volunteer group, supported by the


partnership and the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been work- ing on the attraction and retention chal- lenge since 2013. Thomas Becher, senior


young professionals, it’s also meant to help develop understanding between baby boomer bosses and millennial employees. Becher is among the mentors offer-


ing advice to millennials. It’s natural, par- ticularly in an occupation such as public


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Photo courtesy Virginia’s Blue Ridge


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