Business group reaches out to young people

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April 11, 2008
— Recognizing that new blood is lifeblood, Forward Janesville hopes to pump up the business community with the perspective of the community’s young business professionals.

Forward Janesville’s Small Business Council has formed a committee of young business people to assess and meet the needs of those younger than 35.

Still in it formative stages, the group is interested in networking and mentorship possibilities that tackle the business world from a young person’s perspective.

“We recognize that Janesville is a great community, but a lot of young people come to the community with inexperience,” said Nick Fitzgerald of TRICOR Insurance in Janesville. “Through networking or mentorship, we want to provide resources to help young people, whether it’s with starting a new business or finding the career that’s right for them.

“A lot of young people don’t feel like they have a voice in the community.”

Call it, if you will, a group of young business professionals for young business professionals.

Fitzgerald said that whether they’re newcomers to a community or returning natives, young people often find it difficult to get involved.

“That’s true unless you know somebody,” he said.

The group is sponsoring a gathering for young professionals on Tuesday, May 6, at The Speakeasy in Janesville. In the future, the group hopes to meet monthly.

“Part of the purpose of our fist gathering will be to get information on as many people as we can,” Fitzgerald said. “A lot of our objectives are rather ambiguous at this point and still taking shape.

“One thing’s for certain, and that’s that we want to be aggressive from the start, make this work and not just sit back and wait for people to come to us.”

John Beckord, president of Forward Janesville, said time will tell whether the group is successful.

But the effort is important, he said, because it will not only help young professionals but also will breathe new life into Forward Janesville.

“The challenge for not only Janesville but all communities is to figure out how to motivate young professionals and skilled trades people to step up and get involved in volunteer work in the community,” he said. “One of the things we do fairly successfully is host and support networking events.

“Sometimes there are stereotypes about an organization being less than welcoming. Maybe this will help break down those barriers.”


What: A gathering of young professionals.

Where: The Speakeasy, 19 High St., Janesville.

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6.

Cost: $5, which includes two drink tickets and munchies.

For more info: Call Nick Fitzgerald at (608) 755-5200, ext. 2120.

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