Back

Young Professionals Network Over Cornhole Tournament at LVEDC Event

By Colin McEvoy on August 6, 2019

This week marked a first in the nearly 25-year history of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC): the first time the organization has ever hosted a cornhole tournament.

More than 90 young professionals attended LVEDC’s happy hour event on August 1, held at Queen City BBQ in Allentown, the first in a planned series of such events as part of the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley initiative.

The informal event sought to bring together millennials, entrepreneurs, and other young professionals together in a relaxed setting to network with each other and learn more about what the Lehigh Valley has to offer.

“I met a lot of people I wouldn’t have met at other events I attend,” said Brian Feldman, 36, President & CEO of Feldman Consulting Enterprises. “At a lot of events you run into the same kind of people, but it’s not so often you run into young working professionals in a setting like that.”

Registration for the event met the venue capacity quickly after it was announced, and LVEDC expects to hold similar events in the future due to the high level of interest, according to Karianne Gelinas, LVEDC Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Research.

“Made Possible in Lehigh Valley is all about sharing stories from the region and showing that Lehigh Valley is about people, not just a place,” Gelinas said. “We got a lot of great feedback from everybody in attendance that this was a great way for everyone to learn and share their own Made Possible stories.”

The event was imagined by one of the work groups of the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council, which has met monthly since the fall of 2018. Gelinas said the event was largely initiated by employers, who wanted to connect their young professionals with others throughout the community to establish connections and establish a collaborative environment.

The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley initiative seeks to share the perspectives of the people and companies in our region and let them explain why Lehigh Valley is a special place where you can create a life, a business, or a career, on your terms. LVEDC is currently in the process of gathering testimonials to highlight via Made Possible in Lehigh Valley.

Attendees at the happy hour event were shown LVEDC’s recently released Made Possible in Lehigh Valley video, but otherwise, the event had no program, speaker, or formalized structure other than the cornhole tournament.

Players were purposely paired with teammates and opponents they did not know so they could meet new people and expand their networks. Often, after a round of cornhole was over, the individuals would get together in small groups on their own to share contact information and continue their conversations.

“We wanted this to be an organic event, where everybody could have fun, speak about themselves, and get to know each other on their own terms in an informal setting,” Gelinas said.

The event was sponsored by Lehigh Valley Health Network and OraSure Technologies. Partner organizations in the event included the Young Professionals Council of the Lehigh Valley Chamber, LINC, Discover Lehigh Valley, and Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley.

Other supporting organizations included Crayola, Da Vinci Science Center, DeSales University, Diakon, FedEx, Kutztown University, and Olympus. These organizations promoted the value of connecting their staff with the staff of other organizations to provide opportunities for networking in a fun and casual way while celebrating the exciting locations of the Lehigh Valley, Gelinas said.

August 2019 Issue of LVstartup E-Newsletter Has Been Released

The August 2019 issue of LVstartup, a monthly e-newsletter about entrepreneurs and startups in the Lehigh Valley, has been released. Click here to see the new issue, an[...]

Continue to Next Page

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$40.1 Billion

Gross Domestic Product

Investor Spotlight
City Center Lehigh Valley
Industry Spotlight

11% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

By the Numbers
$3.65 Billion

Exports

Investor Spotlight
Air Products
By the Numbers
$62,489

Median Household Income

Investor Spotlight
PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
26,000

New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

By the Numbers
669,899

Population

Investor Spotlight
Olympus
By the Numbers
345,260

Labor Force

Investor Spotlight
Lutron Electronics
Industry Spotlight

26.1% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

Investor Spotlight
Mack Trucks
Investor Spotlight
UGI
Investor Spotlight
NFI
Industry Spotlight

14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

By the Numbers
$7.4 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

Investor Spotlight
BB&T
Industry Spotlight

69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

Investor Spotlight
Seedcopa
Industry Spotlight

10,328 degrees awarded by colleges and universities

Investor Spotlight
Fuling
Industry Spotlight

81,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
26.97%

Population between ages 18 and 34

Investor Spotlight
Workforce Board