Craig Chamber launching new group for young professionals

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If you go

What: “War of the Wii,” a video game tournament to launch Craig 6185, a new group for young professionals.

When: 1 p.m. Jan. 29

Where: Mathers Bar, 420 Yampa Ave.

Cost: $20 for non-members of Craig 6185, $10 for members

To join Craig 6185, fill out a short application form from the Craig Chamber of Commerce. The annual fee is $10 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members.

Applications can be downloaded on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

When Mel Ferree moved to Craig three years ago, she hoped to find friends of a similar age.

Ferree, who was in her late 20s, quickly learned that wouldn’t be an easy task.

“When I moved here I found it somewhat hard to find new friends my own age,” Ferree said. “My age group is all working and has families and sometimes it’s just hard to find people your own age.”

The plight of those like Ferree was a common theme the Craig Chamber of Commerce noticed through interaction with businesses and people who stopped by the Moffat County Visitor Center, Chamber executive director Christina Oxley said.

Later this month, the Chamber will host an event designed to address the social issue.

Craig 6185, a group for young professionals, is designed to allow area residents in their 20s and 30s to socialize with one another. The first official group function is scheduled Jan. 29.

“We, in Moffat County, have a hard time drawing and retaining young professionals, more so retaining,” Oxley said. “They have a hard time integrating themselves in the social community in terms of finding out what types of activities are available, how to meet people that are in the same mindset, the same age range, with similar interests that are trying to balance a career and family life.”

The group has been a work in progress over the last year and has been organized by a 12-member committee made up of young professionals, including Ferree, who works for the Boys & Girls Club of Craig.

“Since I’ve moved here, I’ve heard a lot of other businesses that have hired people around my age group, in their 20s and 30s, that moved here for their jobs and couldn’t stay because they couldn’t find a support group or people that they could hang out with,” Ferree said.

The group’s age limit is not capped, but events put on by the group are aimed at a younger demographic.

The Jan. 29 kickoff event will consist of a video game competition using Nintendo’s motion-based Wii console at Mathers Bar, 420 Yampa Ave., in downtown Craig. Future events being discussed include a “redneck wine tasting” and girls and guys night outs.

“We are targeting people who are in their 20s, 30s and young at heart,” she said. “We figure the activities are going to lend themselves to a target audience. And if you’re 46 and think that hanging out with some people playing Wii would be a good time, you’re more than welcome.

“We just wanted this group to be more inclusive than exclusive.”

The group is open to people of any profession.

In addition to the social aspect, there will also be networking and educational activities.

Possible future events include a roundtable discussion with professionals and events to help members deal with time management and personal finances.

The group will also help teach members about functions of the Chamber of Commerce.

There is an annual membership fee of $25 for non-Chamber members and $10 for Chamber members. Members of the group will get discounted costs to the group’s events.

Oxley said the savings on events will be enough that members will make the money back easily.

The primary goal behind the group is to help make Moffat County a more appealing place for young professionals, Oxley said.

“Professionals have opportunities to live in all sorts of other places,” Oxley said. “Why would they choose Moffat County? We live here and we know it’s a great quality of life.

“The biggest thing is we want is young professionals to want to be in Moffat County because all of their needs are fulfilled and we recognize that this (socialization) is a need.”

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