Connect with Alberni’s young pros on Jan. 13

Alberni Connect is the first networking event of its type hosted by Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley.

City of Port Alberni economic development manager Pat Deakin

Young professionals in the Valley are looking to make more connections—and they’re starting big this month.

Alberni Connect is the first networking event of its type hosted by Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley and is a chance for business people to interact and learn about economic activity in Port Alberni.

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, City of Port Alberni economic development manager Pat Deakin, community activist Stacey Gaiga and Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne will take to the mic at Char’s Landing to share ideas and advice.

“People take an interest in the city’s economics so this is a good way to start our first Alberni Connect,” said Jolleen Dick, YPAV president.

“Stacey will talk about the park she is creating to inspire people. She will talk about why people invest on a large scale.”

Dick said that as mayor and chair on the board of directors for the ACRD, Osborne has useful best practices to share with the group.

“We hope to get a large attendance, engagement and an interest in what the YPAV is all about,” Dick said. The group’s core pillars include professional development opportunities, community involvement, business networking and social networking.

Dick said Alberni Connect will be an ongoing series.

“Young professionals groups have quarterly connects and we wanted to start them, but we wanted to try something different,” she said. “We have it open to everyone in Port Alberni to shorten the gap between young professionals and more experienced professionals. It will be an opportunity to let people connect.”

Since its inception in 2012, YPAV has completed several community projects, including the Dry Creek Community Garden on Fourth Avenue. The group has partnered with Innovation Island, the City of Port Alberni, the Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot to offer a series of Lunch and Learn events, and with artist Shayne Lloyd and the Rotary Arts District for an art project to be installed near the train station this month. Dick said 2016 expects to be another busy year with more opportunities to enhance the community.

Alberni Connect is free and starts at 6 p.m. at Char’s Landing on Jan. 13.

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