Years ago while practicing law in Omaha, I traveled back for my father’s retirement party in Cedar Rapids. At the party, the former mayor offered her assistance in finding me a job if I would relocate to the area because Cedar Rapids struggles to retain young professionals. I thanked her for the offer while thinking to myself, “Moving back to Cedar Rapids would be suicide for my career and social life.”
Last November, I moved back to Cedar Rapids. Did I commit social life and career suicide? Not at all. Most young professionals share the exact same beliefs I previously did — Cedar Rapids lacks in career opportunities, social activities, culture, and, frankly, other young, vibrant professionals. After moving back, my previous beliefs couldn’t be further from the truth. The problem is convincing other young professionals of that.
That’s the reason I became involved with creating the Next Gen Summit — a half-day event on Oct. 15 at Hotel Kirkwood geared toward bringing together young professionals for not only professional, personal and community development, but also to engage in the unhinging of ideas to develop the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City corridor into the exact place young professionals want to be.
Jennifer E. Germaine
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