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Posts Tagged ‘“Stay Work & Play”’

5 Questions with Kate Luczko, Stay Work Play

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The Department of Resources and Economic Development has deep ties with Stay Work Play, the nonprofit organized to promote the benefits of New Hampshire to the under-40 workforce. Former DRED Commissioner George Bald was an original incorporator of SWP and Division of Economic Development Director Carmen Lorentz serves as a board member.

To catch up with SWP, we interviewed Kate Luczko, president and CEO of this vital workforce retention initiative. Kate has served in a leadership role at SWP for over five years, and prior to that, was part of the leadership team with NH Businesses for Social Responsibility. She’s also served as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of New Hampshire.

Kate Luczko ~ Stay Work Play

Kate Luczko ~ Stay Work Play

1. Stay Work Play is growing again with the addition of Beth San Soucie, who was voted the Lakes Region’s Young Professional of the Year in 2014. To what would you attribute the growth of your organization? 

Like many blossoming organizations that find their niche, there is no one factor to which we can attribute our ability to grow. It has been a combination of continuing to build and expand our network of supporters for the mission of Stay Work Play, a strong board of directors and an active board of advisors, a variety of volunteers and certainly everyone who helps spread the word of Stay Work Play, both in and outside New Hampshire.
After five years in active existence, this year we created our first strategic plan, which will help us further show impact and forward momentum, a variety of new programs and partnerships are in the works, and really, there continues to be a need for New Hampshire to focus on attracting and retaining 20- and 30-somethings to the state, and we are the only private organization that wakes up every day and tackles this issue.

2. SWP was founded in 2009 to further the 55 percent initiative and recommendations from a governor’s task force on the retention of young professionals. How has SWP progressed in these goals.

We did an exercise with our board of advisors at the end of 2014 to look at the various recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force (it had been five years since the report was finalized) to evaluate the work that has already been done (by us and others) and to prioritize the initiatives going forward.

Beyond the creation of Stay Work Play, the other recommendations made by the task force weren’t necessarily created solely for our mission, but are of significant importance to the future of New Hampshire. A number of the initiatives are right within our focus and they will continue to be important to us to take a lead on (Business of the Year award, internships, student loan repayment, etc.) and with others there are organizations with attention in those areas to move them forward and we can support their efforts (broadband, workforce housing, etc.).

Through establishing ourselves over the past five years and going through the strategic planning process, we have also created new goals and initiatives that we will move the needle on in years to come.

3. Why is the link between young professionals and economic development so important?

Today’s young talent are tomorrow’s leaders. For the future of New Hampshire we need those 20- and 30-somethings to remain in or come to New Hampshire to establish their lives in the state. They are the ones who will be starting and leading companies, buying and renting homes, supporting nonprofits, arts, and cultural organizations, utilizing our higher education resources to elevate their skills and knowledge, and all-around contributing to the local economies throughout the state.

They are the ones to not only determine what the state should look like in the future, but they are the ones who will ultimately make it happen. If we care about economic growth and the future of New Hampshire, workforce and economic development are arguably the most important issues to focus resources on. We have worked very hard over the past five years to engage key stakeholders and with a variety of partners and the state’s young talent, are positioned to help move the needle on economic growth.

4. Can you share two or three remarkable things being done by YP groups in the state today?

One of our favorite outcomes over the past five years is that the Young Professionals Networks (YPN) are collaborating with each other. In 2010, we created a Young Professionals Network Advisory board that brings a representative of each YPN together on a monthly conference call. Through these calls, we created both a feeling of being a statewide and connected effort, and also the YPNs share news, events, and best practices. They partner on events and ask each other for advice and resources. It has been great to see the former sense of competition replaced with camaraderie.
The YPNs are also being very innovative with their events and programming. In addition to the traditional networking and social events, there are business plan competitions, professionally focused summits, summer-camp-like events, mentorship programs, community-impact efforts, field trips, and more. They are taking advantage of the chance to be creative, have fun, provide value, appeal to the younger demographic and help young professionals connect with each other and New Hampshire.
Finally, they are finding ways to make themselves relevant to the audiences they’re trying to reach. With 13 YPNs around NH and such a unique multi-faceted state, what works in Manchester doesn’t necessarily work in Littleton. So they are asking their young professional members what would be valuable to them, how they can best serve them, and then they’re taking steps to make it happen. With the YPNs being primarily volunteer-run and having over 10,000 members collectively, it is remarkable how much they accomplish and how much value they add to NH. We call them the “boots on the ground” for Stay Work Play and the Granite State.

5. The Rising Stars Awards are coming up soon. Can you tell us a bit about the history and the purpose of the awards?

The idea of hosting an awards competition was another recommendation of Governor Lynch’s task force. We hosted our first competition and event in 2010 as a way to recognize young talent, businesses and organizations that care about young talent, and initiatives working to help recruit and retain them.

While the original goals remain much the same, the competition has changed and grown over the six years since its inception. We have added three awards: College Student of the Year, Civic Leader of the Year, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, to the original lineup of Young Professional of the Year, Coolest Companies for Young Professionals, and Leadership Development Program of the Year.

The celebratory event has grown tremendously too. Just two years ago, our goal was to have 200 people in attendance, which would have been our largest turnout yet, and this year we expect over 500 people. We have done a lot to make it not your typical rubber chicken dinner. We try and find fun elements and to further emphasize our goal of bringing awareness and recognition to those people and organizations who are working hard to make New Hampshire an amazing place.

This year we are at a very unique venue, the Space Entertainment Center in Hooksett. When was the last time you attended a business event and went up against your local bank president and friendly college senior at skeeball?! In addition to a fun arcade-game-filled venue, we have live music, raffle baskets representing businesses and organizations in six regions throughout New Hampshire (the hope being someone from the Seacoast wins the North Country – White Mountains basket and gets the chance to experience a less-familiar part of the state), an inspiring keynote speaker, the announcement of all of our winners, and a stellar crowd with which to network.

The Rising Stars Awards event takes place at 5:30 pm, Monday, Oct. 5. You may register here. This year’s finalist are listed here.

5 Questions with Jaimie Sousa, Fusion

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Earlier this year, we interviewed Mike Cashion of the Concord Young Professionals Group and learned a great deal about what motivates today’s young professionals when it comes to employment and workforce issues. However, that’s just one side of the young professional story.  

To explore more of the facets of young professional lives and how they affect the New Hampshire economy, we interviewed Jaimie Sousa, president of the board of directors for Fusion, the young professionals group in the Lakes Region. Fusion isn’t just about networking, as you’ll learn in the interview – it’s also deeply focused on civic engagement and community development.

Jaimie Sousa

1. Fusion is one of the newer YP groups in New Hampshire. Can you tell us a bit about the genesis of the organization and its guiding principles?

Fusion officially filed organizing documents on 3/1/13. We’re an all-volunteer organization focused on networking, education and giving back to our community. Along with the other groups under the Stay Work Play umbrella, Fusion is primarily focused on making it easy and fun to connect with like-minded people. Events are open to the public and typically have some type of activity that serves as a fun way to meet people. The activities also serve as a conversation starter, so there’s less pressure on starting a conversation with people you might not know yet.

2. When we interviewed Mike Cashion from the Concord YP group earlier this year, he called out Fusion on a shortlist of YP groups doing unique things in the state. How are you setting yourselves apart from the typical networking group?

That’s awesome! Stay Work Play hosts a conference call for all of the groups to chat about what is going on in their area each month and this allows us to exchange ideas and support each other. We have learned a lot from other groups, but we’ve also found a way to embrace the uniqueness of the Lakes Region.

We take advantage of our surroundings by including nearby activities and visiting new and longstanding local businesses for our events. We are planning our third year hosting a stand-up paddle boarding event at EKAL in Meredith – one of our most popular activities. We also had a great turnout for kickboxing at Beyond the Belt, which raised money for Gilford Got Lunch.

This is another thing that sets Fusion apart: Our events are not just fundraisers for our group. We raise funds for other charities in an effort to support the community that we love so much!

Finally, we’re often asked if there’s an age limit for Fusion events and the answer is no. Our goal is to develop a network across generations to enhance the sustainability of the Lakes Region in the future. If the young professionals are eventually to replace the generations that have come before them, it would be silly to attempt to start from scratch. We believe our community depends on us working together, and so we’re happy to welcome all who want to be involved.

3. How do you see Fusion playing a role in helping businesses grow in New Hampshire and in attracting out-of-state businesses to relocate or expand here?

Ultimately, businesses grow through the connections you make. We find that people come to our events and meet people they genuinely like and with whom they’d naturally do business. Our events are about getting to know the person behind the business card, and making connections that are lasting rather than transactional.

The fact that New Hampshire has the Stay Work Play network throughout the state serves as a benefit to out-of-state businesses or businesses expanding within the state. The concern with building or growing a business is often not being able to attract or retain a workforce in a rural environment. When I moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts/Rhode Island, people thought I was going to live in a tent in the woods. Stay Work Play’s website has a ton of information showing that New Hampshire is so much more than that. And each region’s group works to help people feel a sense of community and belonging. We believe this will help with employee retention.

4. You started a new program, the IMPACT Awards, to recognize members of the community that personify the Fusion mission. What’s impressed you most about this year’s nominees?

The best part of the process so far has been listening in to the judges as they narrowed down the finalists. The nominees all have something within them that pushed them to become passionately involved in their community. These are the people that start something from nothing, push the community forward, and really make a difference.

5. After the IMPACT Awards are given out this week, what’s next for Fusion? How will you continue to make your mark on the Granite State in 2015?

Creating the IMPACT Awards was a big deal for us. Coupled with our Annual Networking Event, this gives Fusion two large-scale networking events each year, which is exciting because people were asking for more. We also enjoy our smaller scale events and activities that allow people to make deeper connections more quickly, so we think this is a good balance. Fusion will also continue our annual Bowl-A-Thon, which is scheduled for September this year.

Beyond the events we have scheduled, we’re excited to be growing as a board and gaining the ability to do more than ever before. Each year we get better, and the best way to keep up with our new events and programs is to connect with us on Facebook.

Five Questions with Mike Cashion, Concord Young Professionals Network

Friday, February 27th, 2015

(Check back every Friday to meet someone we think you should know in our new series, Five Questions. -Ed.)

One of the most vital resources to businesses, the entrepreneurial environment, and the economy in general is the young professional workforce. Nationwide, young professionals hold 27 percent of professional jobs and often are motivated by a different set of values than the generations preceding them. They also have a different set of challenges.

Mike Cashion

Mike Cashion

To dig a little deeper into the young professional mindset, we spoke with Mike Cashion, a member of the Concord Young Professionals Network and an advocate for the growth and success of young professionals in New Hampshire.

What’s the state of the state for young professionals in New Hampshire these days?

Here are the positives: If you’re a young professional in New Hampshire who is willing to put the time and effort in, you’ll do well and be sought after, due to the comparatively low population of 20 and 30-somethings. The potential for a ‘seat at the table’ is decent. While New Hampshire is not as sought after as more popular cities for those in their 20s and 30s – like Boston, New York City, Denver and others – the future for New Hampshire could be great … it’s full of opportunity.

Here are the challenges: The largest concentration of young professionals is in southern New Hampshire, where the income potential is highest and the commute to Boston is easier, which can draw young professionals out of state. And it’s still very tough to be the only one at the table under the age of 40 and sometimes 50, because there is a resistance to new ideas and change. This is a challenge for young professionals everywhere.

Can you share a couple of examples of young professionals groups doing awesome things in the state recently?

The Concord Young Professionals Network has brought in anchor tenants to its events. Those are prominent people in the community who are advocates for young professionals, are successful in their careers and want to help facilitate change. CYPN is also heavily focusing on return on investment for its members.

The Manchester Young Professionals Network’s NH Startup Challenge and Corner Office Connections Program are top-notch and put young professionals in front of change-makers.

Fusion, in the Lakes Region, is fairly new to the young professionals realm and is doing a variety of cool events that are outside of the traditional networking activity, like kick boxing, snowboarding/skiing/tubing and more fun stuff that us young people really enjoy.

Finally, Catapult is bringing attention to 10 rising stars under the age of 40 out on the Seacoast with its “10 to Watch.”

What are a couple of the top challenges young professionals are facing right now? What’s keeping them up at night?

For those of us who want to work for other people, it’s finding the opportunities we’d like to have, with the right flexibility or pay grade. Those of us looking to start a new company have hurdles in regard to raising capital, and developing the talent pool is a priority, especially in regard to tech.

Education is extremely expensive in our country at this point and many young people are struggling to make enough to live comfortably without staying with mom and dad or rooming with multiple roommates.

A friend recently shared a very strong opinion that New Hampshire is welcoming to young professionals and yet there seems to be an important opportunity for the university system to offer more support for young professionals before they even enter the workforce.

Also, compared to more urban areas like Boston and New York, New Hampshire’s public transportation system isn’t as viable an option for young professionals.

“You must have a car to be successful here,” as others have told me, as I unlock my bicycle and put on my helmet.

How are young professionals and YP groups supporting the state’s economy?

As young people we want to support local as much as possible. We’re a very entrepreneurial generation. We know there’s no life-long employment moving forward. We’re all entrepreneurs in a sense, and need to support the local shops, restaurants, farmers markets, arts markets, local startups, etc. We’re starting businesses, paying taxes and doing our best to attract our talented friends to the area, and keep our friends from jumping ship and moving elsewhere.

If there’s one message that young professionals most want to get across to older (over 40) professionals, what would it be?

We understand that you have a large amount of experience, and we value your knowledge. Our lives at the ages between 20-40 are much different than yours were (extreme education costs, we’re always on, we have to look ahead or we will fail, we value a sharing economy). If we don’t see a future, we’ll struggle to stick around. Be open to change, mentor us, teach us your ways, and give us an opportunity to be a part of your succession planning.

Airport Video is the Ticket to Possibility in New Hampshire

Friday, September 13th, 2013

The next time you’re at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, check out a video there in the lobby, which represents a nice collaboration of organizations who are high on New Hampshire for all that it offers in terms of business, lifestyle and possibility.

Earlier this week, our friends at the New Hampshire High Tech Council unveiled the exhibit at the airport, which features clips from Stay Work Play New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire. The video runs in a loop, greeting travelers on their way out of the terminal.



It’s the first snapshot of the Granite State, a video landscape of our economy, tech sector, commitment to research and quality of life.

The tech council’s board of directors, understanding that the airport is a prime opportunity to grab the attention of visitors to the state, worked on the collaboration to make the video possible.

“We knew that a unique format like a video with key messaging about our state would catch people’s attention and demonstrate the value proposition the state offers to launch, relocate and grow a business,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the council. “The airport staff was extremely supportive of this effort to create a welcoming message to the millions of people that fly in and out on Manchester every year.”

Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, was quick to sign on.

“With our focus on recruiting new businesses to the state and ensuring that their workforce needs are met we are open to finding innovative ways to reach new audiences,” he said.  “We consider ourselves champions of the economic opportunities within New Hampshire and this video is a creative way to highlight some of the state’s advantages.”

For its contribution to the video, Stay Work Play NH answers the question What makes New Hampshire a great place to live and work?

(The answer, of course, is our quality of life statistics — as one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation and number one rankings in child and family well-being and the most livable state.)

UNH highlights its support of the high tech sector in the state through research and programs such as the Emerging Technology Center, the Flow Physics Facility and the Technology Transfer Center.

The display is located on the first floor of the airport to the right of the main entrance. The effort was underwritten by Dyn, Fairpoint Communications, Image 4 Productions and Nanocomp Technologies.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development



Take Steps to Keep Our Young Professionals in New Hampshire

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

If we aren’t already worried enough about the aging demographic in our state, perhaps we should be. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, New Hampshire is the fourth oldest state in the nation and is growing older at a rate that is higher than the national average.

These facts have ramifications both socially and economically. As older citizens leave the workforce, who will be there to take their place? How do you replace years of institutional knowledge.

That’s why I’m glad that organizations like Stay Work Play and postsecondary institutions like Antioch University are joining together to address the issue and try to stem the tide. Check out this release that just crossed my desk and please make plans to join the discussion on November 18th.

Take Steps to Keep Our Young Professionals in New Hampshire

Thousands of 25-35 year olds can’t find work in New Hampshire. They are smart, capable and eager to stay and work here, but they find it challenging to stay in our state.

Let’s talk about how to solve this urgent problem. Antioch University New England (AUNE) is hosting a statewide peer-to-peer strategy session during a free breakfast, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Friday, November 18.

The public is welcome. Join other people from around the state, including representatives from AUNE, New Hampshire Business for Social Responsibility, Stay Work Play, Keene Young Professionals of the Keene Chamber of Commerce, and AUNE’s Net Impact Chapter.

Kate Luczko, executive director of Stay Work Play-New Hampshire, will give a short keynote talk. Stay Work Play-NH <http://www.stayworkplay.org/>  is a nonprofit organization which furthers the goal of the 55% Initiative to encourage at least fifty-five percent of new graduates to stay in New Hampshire. Luczko was formerly program director for New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR). <http://www.nhbsr.org/>

You’ll also be able to meet, Michelle Veasey, NHBSR’s new executive director, who will attend.

‘Catalysts for change’
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, wrote “…we must be catalysts for change in our own right and exercise our influence and responsibility as business leaders and entrepreneurs.” Schultz calls for a “peer to peer job strategy” that uses a collaborative approach to get people back to work. We want you to be part of this development strategy.

The goal is to identify concrete ways to keep our young professionals living and working in New Hampshire. We want to address this problem and invite you to be part of the solution. We expect our strategy session to come up with concrete action steps on:
• How universities can best prepare their students and young professionals to meet the needs of New Hampshire businesses and nonprofits.
• How nonprofits and businesses in the state can learn about the skills and talents New Hampshire graduates can offer, and create opportunities to hire them, even in tight financial times.
• How we can make sure that young professionals are part of the future of New Hampshire businesses and nonprofits.

8:15-8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast served
8:30-9:00 a.m. Welcome and keynote speaker
9-10:30 a.m. Facilitated strategy-building conversation

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in E101 at AUNE. Please RSVP to Stephanie Tickner, stickner@antioch.edu or call 603-283-2418.

Youth Retention Effort Hits Washington Post

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Amazing what a little attention in the Washington Post will do for you. After discussing our cooperative efforts with the simply awesome Stay Work Play organization, I received a call yesterday for an interview with Swedish Public Radio. Who woulda thunk it? Anyhow, here’s the Post story in its entirety:

New England’s Youth Pitch

Matt Marshall is still trying to determine which path he will take when he graduates from the University of New Hampshire in June. But the 23-year-old business major has pinpointed his general direction: out of the state.

“I definitely want to go someplace else. Where, I don’t know, but I’ve lived here all my life,” he said, mentioning a warmer locale as his possible future home. “I hate snow.”

New Hampshire is giving the spiky-haired Mr. Marshall anything but the cold shoulder. With census figures showing New England leads other parts of the U.S. in the decline of its under-45 age group, the Granite State and its neighbors are desperate to keep young people around.

Massachusetts is funding internships at private companies—$2.2 million this year, up from $1 million last year. In a pilot program started in July, Vermont is forking over cash to graduates who stay in the state.

At right, Kate Luczko, executive director of Stay Work Play New Hampshire, which tries to sell the state to college students, answers a question at University of New Hampshire seminar this month. (Photo by Jon Tully for the Journal)

New Hampshire, under the direction of a young-worker retention task force established by Democratic Gov. John Lynch, has launched a nonprofit called Stay Work Play to sell the state to college students. The state also is directing one-third of its entire marketing budget toward wooing and retaining younger people.

“I can’t think of anything more important,” said Steve Boucher, legislative director of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development.

Despite New Hampshire’s relatively low unemployment rate of 5.4% as of September, officials have found that about half of all college students leave the state after graduation, believing they need to head to a big city to find a robust social life.

Among the events planned is a “college invasion tour,” featuring comedians and concerts, to help show a fun alternative to New Hampshire’s “traditional Yankee” side, Mr. Boucher said.

Regional officials say their retention programs are new, so they are still measuring the effects. Students who have been courted by the states have mixed reviews.

Ariana Chehrazi, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior, had been planning to return to her native Los Angeles after graduation, but changed her mind after landing a summer internship at a diagnostics firm through the state program. Los Angeles doesn’t “have the same feel as wanting to keep you here.…Massachusetts is trying harder to get young people,” she said.

But 22-year-old Brian Iwanicki, a New Hampshire native, said it wasn’t easy to find “a hip place that a young professional might want to go” in Manchester, New Hampshire’s biggest metropolis. “It’s a short list,” he said.

Still, 10 networking groups for young professionals have cropped up across New Hampshire—which state leaders see as an indicator that retention efforts are working.

The loss of young people is one factor in New England’s slow growth, which puts the region at the forefront of a nationwide aging trend. State leaders in the region say innovation depends on smart, young people and many officials see the signs of that base dwindling. Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, said last week that employers have been complaining to him about a shortage of skilled workers.

Another worry: potential loss of political clout. States that lost congressional seats after the latest census were primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, including Massachusetts.

New England’s population grew 3.8% in a decade, the 2010 census found, compared with the U.S.’s 9.7% overall growth. The population continues to shift South and West because of a combination of weather, cost of living and relatively low-skilled jobs for newcomers, said Brookings Institution demographer William Frey.

With fewer people arriving, New England leads in the graying of its population. Of just seven states with a median age of 40 or older, four are in New England: Maine (42.7), Vermont (41.5), New Hampshire (41.1) and Connecticut (40.0). There are bright spots—Boston continues to gain young people—but each New England state saw a decline in the under-45 group. Meantime, Arizona’s under-45 population jumped 16%.

On a recent night, Stay Work Play New Hampshire visited the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus. “It’s easy to get the perception there is nothing to do…but I’m constantly amazed that there is a lot of stuff happening” in the state, said Kate Luczko, the program’s executive director.

The message rang true to Brian Bishop, a 22-year old who said he wouldn’t likely head South or West. “I lived in Florida for a year and a half,” he said, with a sour expression. “It’s too slow-paced, too much small talk. Here we try to get things done.”

Deadline for Rising Stars Awards Extended to August 12

Monday, August 1st, 2011

There are just two weeks left to apply for the Rising Stars Awards, which honors young professionals, and the companies and programs that employ and support them. So if you just got back from vacation or finished another project, now is the time to act.

Business NH Magazine is working with Stay, Work Play, the state’s Young Professionals organizations and the NH Division of Economic Development on the 2011 awards ceremony. This award is critical for the NH economy, which depends on the retention and recruitment of young professionals statewide.
There are six Young Professionals Awards. Companies and individuals are invited to apply online, and applying for more than one award is encouraged.
The awards are:
1. The Coolest Companies for Young Professionals will honor one small company, one medium-sized company and one large company, all in NH.
2. The Young Professional of the Year award honors an outstanding professional 40 years old or younger.
3. The Young Professionals Network Program of the Year will honor an innovative program developed by a young professional group.
4. The Stay, Work, Play Leadership Award will be given to an individual, organization, initiative or program in NH that supports young professionals in NH.
Applications are due online only by Friday, August 12. Winners will be honored at a ceremony on Monday, Nov. 7 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. Please visit www.businessNHmagazine.com and click on the competitions button for a link to the online applications.
For questions email Associate Editor Erika Cohen at ecohen@businessNHmagazine.com or call 626-6354 x211.

College Students Get Grand Slam Opportunity Thanks to Partnership

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

You can hit one out of the park in New Hampshire. That’s the message that a team of public and private sector partners want to deliver to young people exploring life in the Granite State following graduation.

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Stay Work Play, Public Service of New Hampshire and the Futures Collegiate Baseball League have joined forces to offer a free night at the Nashua Silver Knights and Seacoast Mavericks games next Friday evening, July 29th to any current college students displaying a valid college ID.

“We want to send a clear message that New Hampshire is not only a great place to live and build a business, it is also a state with plenty of entertainment offerings,” New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher said. “You don’t have to travel to Boston to have a great night out – there’s plenty to do right here in the most livable state in the nation.”

Created in 2009, the Stay Work Play organization seeks to expose more young people to the advantages of remaining in or returning to New Hampshire. The overall effort builds off the work of the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and partnering organizations that established the 55% Initiative in 2007. That effort set a goal of encouraging at least 55% of the new graduates to stay compared to approximately 50% who currently stay.

Stay Work Play NH, Inc. was established as a nonprofit organization to further the 55% Initiative, support and advance several recommendations made by the Governor’s Task Force on Young Worker Retention, and serve as an independent organization to run a website and associated marketing effort geared at providing comprehensive information on what New Hampshire can offer to the 20-30 year old demographic in terms of staying, working, and playing here.

 “We feel like New Hampshire has an incredible story to tell and it’s public/private partnerships like this that demonstrate that this state is truly committed to retaining its best and brightest talent,” said Stay Work Play Executive Director Kate Luczko. “Getting young people out to network at a fun event like a baseball game is just one way to begin establishing the type of relationships that lead to the great quality of life New Hampshire is known for.”

Thanks to a partnership with the two New Hampshire-based teams in the four-team Futures Collegiate Baseball League, college students will get free admission to either the Nashua Silver Knights game vs. the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks at Holman Stadium at 7:05 p.m. or the Seacoast Mavericks game vs. the Torrington Titans at Bert George Field at 6:35 p.m. Both games are slated for Friday, July 29th.

“We’re really excited to be partnering with Public Service of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development to advance the good work already started by Stay Work Play,” said Futures Collegiate Baseball League Commissioner Chris Hall. “We’re fortunate to have two of our inaugural franchises located right here in New Hampshire.  The Nashua Silver Knights and Seacoast Mavericks provide a family friendly and affordable experience for all ages.  Both cities have a deep history of business development and community support and we feel that these franchises provide a great social experience to the area.”

Public Service of New Hampshire has long supported economic development promotion in the state of New Hampshire and sees its participation as a logical extension of its business development efforts.

“We are absolutely committed to continuing to build a work class workforce and to getting involved in efforts that create a positive business atmosphere in New Hampshire,” Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott said. “This isn’t simply a matter of getting young people out to a ballgame, it’s about showcasing New Hampshire’s entertainment offerings and building the connections that enrich communities for the long run.”

For more information about Stay Work Play, visit www.stayworkplay.org. For more information about the Nashua Silver Knights, visit www.nashuasilverknights.com and for more information about the Seacoast Mavericks, visit www.seacoastmavericks.com.

Casting Call for NH’s Rising Stars

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Check out this great awards program that we’re partnering on with our friends at Business NH Magazine and Stay Work Play – submit your nominations today!!

 Recognize NH’s Rising Stars!!

The Details: Are you a star or do you know a young professional who is? If so, we want to feature that person in Business NH Magazine. We’re looking for nominees for the second annual Rising Stars awards. The awards recognize outstanding young professionals, creative initiatives that keep young professionals working in NH, and the businesses that go the extra mile to recruit and retain them.

Why: Let’s face it, NH needs to attract and keep younger talent. So, Business NH Magazine, Stay Work Play, a nonprofit committed to helping retain 55 percent of the state’s college graduates to stay, work and play in the Granite State, and the NH Division of Economic Development are partnering on a unique competition to highlight the best and brightest professionals 40 and under.

The Process:  There will be six awards. The Coolest Companies for Young Professionals recognizes companies˜small, medium and large”that create outstanding workplaces with innovative programs to attract and retain young professionals.” The Young Professional of the Year award honors an exceptional professional 40 years old or younger who is a rising star in his or her field, has demonstrated leadership and who is committed to giving back to the community. The Young Professional Network Program of the Year honors a stand-out program developed by a young professional group that furthers young professionals professionally or socially and helps young professionals become more connected to their communities. The Stay, Work, Play Leadership award goes to an individual, organization, initiative or program in NH that significantly supports the recruitment and retention of young professionals in the state.

The Deadline: Friday July 29. Applications will be accepted online only by going to www.BusinessNHmagazine.com <http://millyardcommunications.com/index.php?cid=619168&forward=3&curlid=4> and click on the Competitions button.

Eligibility: 2010 winners are not eligible to compete, but we encourage them to nominate their colleagues. The Reward: Winners will be featured in the Young Professionals Guide in the November issue of Business NH Magazine and feted at an awards ceremony the same month.

10th NH Young Professional Network Launched

Friday, January 21st, 2011

New Hampshire now has its 10th young professional network, the Central NH Young Professionals Group (CNHYPG), based in Plymouth and a partner of the Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce.

young-workers“The CNHYP is a great addition to our region, as we are hoping to attract new layers of people who do not traditionally seek out a chamber of commerce for support,” said Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott Stephens. “With this kind of group we can get more professionals interested in networking and getting involved in their community.”

Stay Work Play has created a young professional advisory group to bring representatives from all 10 young professional networks (YPN) together monthly to share upcoming events and news, best practices, allow mentoring from more established groups to those just arriving on the scene, and offer ways to help the YPNs.

“We truly value our role as a convener of young professional organizations throughout the state and as an ambassador to the business community,” said Stay Work Play Executive Director Kate Luczko. “Stay Work Play, the young professionals organizations and our many business partners share the same goal of retaining our best and brightest minds and building the strongest possible economy in New Hampshire.”

The other nine, regionally based, young professionals networks include: Catapult (Seacoast), Concord (CYPN), HYPE: Helping Young Professionals Excel (Salem), iUGO (Nashua), Keene, Lakes Region (LRYP), Manchester (MYPN), Mt. Washington Valley (MWVYPN), and the Young Professionals of Sullivan County. Collectively these groups have close to 10,000 NH young professional members.

Join Stay Work Play and network with young professionals from across NH at a Manchester Monarchs’ hockey game on Saturday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m. Details may be found at: https://www.monarchsjungle.com/stay-work-play-night