Sioux Lookout initiates Young Professionals Network
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Young Professionals Network (YPN) of Ontario is now being introduced to Sioux Lookout, aiming to help connect, inspire, advocate and engage successful and dynamic professionals.
Several major employers like Sioux Lookout’s aviation industry and Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre are drawing people from diverse backgrounds to join this vibrant and progressive community. For individuals under the age of 40, YPN assists and facilitates collaboration among chapters to help ensure the active engagement of young professionals across the province.
Joshua Tyson Miller, a young professional in his mid-20s moved to Sioux Lookout about two years ago to work as an Architectural Technician. “I know a lot of young professionals who come to the North don’t always last very long, and a part of that could be the sense of solitude, or not knowing how to take advantage of the beautiful area we are in, then getting tired of the perceived ‘nothing to do,” said Miller. He added that it is a great way to help people get comfortable in the community much sooner and is looking forward to getting involved with this initiative.
It acts as a central hub for professional development and for social, community, business and networking opportunities. The introduction event for this initiative had to be put on hold earlier this year as a result of the pandemic. However, an introductory online meeting was conducted last Thursday, with a later intent to meet in person. The meeting helped reassess interest from individuals who may wish to participate in the Network and receive input on expectations from those involved.
Brian P. MacKinnon, one of the coordinators of the Sioux Lookout YPN, said, “COVID-19 has really put a damper on the kick off of this group. We were working full steam ahead on all aspects of the group preparations when we initially launched the idea of assembling the group in January /February 2020. Unfortunately, pandemic protocols required us to halt all in-person meetings just as we were planning to roll-out our first in-person coordinated events.”
As we begin to establish and function in the ‘new normal,’ the Young Professionals Network will finally be able to conduct its first in-person meeting. Further information about the in-person meeting can be found on the Sioux Lookout Young Professionals Network Facebook page.
While this is a grassroots initiative, those who choose to participate will form the future of the organization. Currently the group is being run by three individuals who work in Sioux Lookout and who thought there was a need and an interest in establishing YPN. Governance and communications will be determined once a core group of individuals has been established.
“With a network like this and people who have been around Sioux Lookout (and area) who can let you know of all the amazing things you can do up here, where to find them, or who to ask, it is a great opportunity to really show off all that Sioux Lookout has to offer,” said Miller. This may lead to young professionals staying in the community longer.
This network was initiated to serve as a tool to combat high levels of personnel turnover across all organizations within the Municipality. Similar groups already exist in other communities and the Sioux Lookout YPN would be a familiar initial point of connection for young professionals entering Sioux Lookout. “The challenges with COVID-19 may cause the group to be creative in terms of how it meets and supports its membership. As the old adage states, where there's a will, there's a way,” MacKinnon said.
Having this type of network can serve to ease the anxiety many young professionals experience when entering the workforce, starting a new job or moving to a new community. The group is looking forward to a robust membership that is active in the events created and hosted by the network, as well as in undertakings in the wider community.