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MHI launches Young Professionals Network at ProMat 2013

By Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
January 18, 2013

In an effort to attract and retain fresh talent in the industry, Materials Handling Industry (MHI) will launch the Young Professionals Network (YPN) at ProMat 2013. Devon Birch is marketing and communications services manager for MHI. She and eight other MHI employees under the age of 40 are working to define the scope and details of the fledgling YPN, the brainchild of George Prest, MHI’s CEO.

“The goal is to get more young people interested in materials handling, and get them to stay,” says Birch. “It’s about making them feel as if they belong and are connected to a support network.”

Prest envisioned the YPN after a positive experience in a youth network earlier in his career, says Birch, and he has since given full control of the project to Birch and her fellow young colleagues. With input from new members, the particulars of the network will be fleshed out at an upcoming Webinar on February 27 at 2 p.m. EST, titled “Other Generations: What ARE They Thinking?”

In the meantime, YPN membership is open at no cost to “Anyone under the age of 40 interested in supply chain management and enriching themselves and the community.” MHI members and non-members are welcome. Birch says the goal is to provide online forums and tools for networking, trend-watching, and professional development. It’s no surprise that social media will play a big role in connecting the network, and the YPN has already set up a blog as well accounts at Twitter and LinkedIn.

Once membership has reached a certain level, the YPN will host conferences, events and webinars, and might bring in some, well, more experienced industry experts in an effort to bridge the gap between “generational personalities.”

The YPN blog suggests, “Each generation works differently, thinks differently and communicates differently. So, how can you connect with the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials AND Traditionalists you work with?”

As the YPN works to connect different generational personalities and foster a healthy exchange between them, Birch says the concept of an ongoing mentorship program is on the table. However, more members are needed to express what they would want from such a program.

About the Author

Josh Bond
Contributing Editor

Josh Bond is a contributing editor to Modern. In addition to working on Modern’s annual Casebook and being a member of the Show Daily team, Josh covers lift trucks for the magazine.


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