Next Gen. Summit coming in October

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Millennials make up half the U.S. labor force and the next generation is following quickly behind. It is imperative all generations collaborate efficiently and effectively. On Oct. 5, hundreds of young professionals will gather at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids for the annual Next Gen. Summit. This conference alternates between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City every year and focuses on enhancing the skills of young leaders to help them grow personally and professionally.

Next Gen. Summit, hosted by Empowered Professionals of Iowa City and ImpactCR young professional groups, is the only conference in the region specifically targeting young professionals.

The two hosting organizations represent Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, respectively, and their relationship for this conference shows the Corridor is stronger when working together.

“Root Yo’ Self” is the conference theme this year and it emphasizes tools and skills individuals newer to the workforce can use to grow within their current organizations.

Roughly 75 percent of organizations nationally do a poor job at developing areas such as leadership, culture, processes, and many other facets of work. The Next Gen. Summit conference theme this year aims to assist young professionals who at times may feel they have hit a wall and feel they must leave their current organization, rather than continue to grow as a professional where they are.

This conference will show them ways to grow within their organization instead of grow out. The overall goal of the Next Gen. Summit this year is to aid organizations and young professionals by slowing down regional concerns such as “brain drain” and “job hopping.”

No matter where attendees are coming from, they will have the opportunity to network, find inspiration, and learn new methods and tools to drastically enhance their workplaces.

Bill Marklein of Employ Humanity is the keynote speaker and his topic, “The Emotional Intelligence: Awareness, Adaptability & Empathy for 21st Century Leadership,” speaks to the need for emotional intelligence in the workplace. Additional topics covered at the conference will focus on getting ahead without working 24/7, tackling student loan debt, how to pitch an idea in your workplace effectively and much more.

Additional information about Next Gen. Summit can be found at

l Ben Snyder of Iowa City and Alison Winn of Cedar Rapids serve on the Next Gen. Summit committee. Comments:,

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