The young professional scene in Cleveland is alive and thriving. We even have a whole week named after us! Northeast Ohio offers industry-related YP groups, city-specific young professional associations, organization-focused societies, and young professional religious groups. The young professional meetings (typically targeting people aged 21-40) not only offer newcomers the chance to meet people with similar interests and backgrounds, but also offer native Clevelanders the opportunity to expand their networks.
General Young Professional Groups
One of the most well-known young professional groups is Engage! Cleveland, who runs the yearly YP Week. They’re a nonprofit group that works to engage and connect YPs all over Northeast Ohio, and they offer a ton of events that span a variety of interests. (I even got to write a blog for them recently on traveling as a young professional!)
The Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club is another umbrella organization that brings young professionals together. They’re also huge in the community because of all the events they put on, like the Top 25 Under 35 Movers & Shakers Awards and their weekly networking breakfast.
Organization-Focused Young Professional Groups
If you’re looking to support a specific organization, we have plenty of local groups! Margy joined Partners in its first year of inception. Playhouse Square Partners‘ purpose, much like most of our local YP groups, is to cultivate a desire to lead, give back to the community, and also to have fun.
Providence House has PHriends, in which the members help out with their yearly Deck the House event. The Cleveland Museum of Art supports young people with Column & Stripe. And Global Cleveland’s Friends of Global Cleveland gatherings focus on international YPs.
Religious Young Professional Groups
Sometimes, finding your group means finding others who share your religious values. If that’s the case for you, we have JCLE, which is part of Cleveland Hillel; Northeast Ohio Catholic Young Adults; Young Catholic Professionals; and the Youth Leadership Division with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. While those are the only active organizations I know of, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there…and there’s always an opportunity to create groups of your own!
City-Specific Young Professional Groups
Just because these YP organizations have a city attached to them doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome if you live outside of that city. City-specific groups come and go more often (in my opinion) than other types. The Young Professionals of Parma do a great job spreading the word about their events; they have a speed networking event coming up next month that’s perfect for newcomers looking to make connections. The Strongsville Chamber of Commerce also has a youth-focused group you can join. Even if they don’t have dedicated associations, many Chambers of Commerce in Northeast Ohio do have young professional members. Take a look at their directories and see who has joined!
Industry-Related Young Professional Groups
The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is the biggest industry-specific group for young people in Cleveland that I know. Their events are pretty inclusive; they often have open meetings so you can check them out prior to joining. Young Education Professionals and Young Entrepreneurs Mastermind are two others. A few co-working spaces around town host events that attract a bunch of young professionals (although they don’t accept exclusively YPs) such as LaunchHouse. Another program that attracts a wide variety of demographics and industries is Cleveland Bridge Builders – one of the flagship programs of the Cleveland Leadership Center. Margy and Peg are alumni!
There is so much support out there for young professionals moving to Northeast Ohio, and there’s no way to list all of the resources concisely in a blog. Engage! Cleveland’s directory as well as the Cleveland Bucket List and Meetup have listings you can browse to find the right group for you: Young Latino Network, Cleveland Young Women Professionals, MotivAsians, and more.
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