The Cincinnati Chamber is opening its arms far and wide to reach talent across the country and welcome them to the region.
Cincinnati has gained significant attention over the past several years, mostly thanks to a vibrant and diverse community of people that has long called the Queen City home.
“This is a place in which you can make a difference,” says Vice President of Talent Initiatives Jordan Vogel. “You can come to this region, enjoy many of the big city amenities in a small city environment, roll up your sleeves and be a part of the solution.”
The city’s rich art, food and entertainment scene make it the ideal place to live, work and play. But despite its vibrancy, Cincinnati remains one of the Midwest’s best-kept secrets.
Thankfully, that is changing. To share this secret with others, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is introducing a new, innovative initiative and inviting the city's young professionals to join together.
Hello Cincy and a lot of HYPE
The Hello Cincy initiative, created by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, is centered on that premise. Its main objective is to attract recent graduates to the city, recruit talent outside of Cincinnati and engage newcomers so they choose to stay in the region.
The initiative was born out of the city’s future talent needs. The Cincinnati region is growing rapidly. By 2026, it's estimated to grow by 56,000 jobs by 2026, according to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, meaning employers will require a robust workforce to continue growing their businesses.
In addition to recruiting and engaging new talent, the initiative also works with local employers to help top prospects envision what their lives could be like in the Queen City.
“We decided to fill that void and make sure that if somebody is really considering the region, and they want to kick the tires and talk to somebody, we want to take that obstacle out of the way,” says Vogel. “We want to remove it from the table, and It does so by highlighting the best Cincinnati has to offer and connecting newcomers to a diverse group of nearly 20 ambassadors who serve as a gateway into the community.
Meet The Welcome Crew
“It doesn’t always work to just have a website, or a marketing campaign that talks about a region,” says Talent Attraction Impact Leader Danielle Wilson. “It needs to be supported by those one-on-one connections, because that is what is going to make people stay.”
The Hello Cincy ambassadors work in various industries and have different interests and passions. Nevertheless, they share one common thread – their love for Cincinnati and an openness to simply be a sound board or approachable resource.
Jesse Lawrence, 28, is one of Hello Cincy’s ambassadors.
Originally from southeast Iowa, he moved to Cincinnati nearly two years ago after graduating from college in Missouri. He first fell in love with Cincinnati when his boyfriend took him to Over-the-Rhine.
Lawrence now works as a project manager and marketing coordinator at the University of Cincinnati Research Institute. In addition to the city’s interesting river valley topography, he says his favorite part about Cincinnati is the vibrant arts scene.
“I think the arts scene here is very unique,” Lawrence says. “The arts are well-supported here and well-funded. There is always a show, art gallery or some kind of musical performance happening, which has been fun for someone who enjoys it like I do.”
Christina Misali, 33, is also from outside of Cincinnati.
She left her home in Louisville, Kentucky to follow in her sister’s footsteps and attend Xavier University.
“I’ll be honest, it was kind of a tough transition during school and right after,” says Misali. “I didn’t really know how to assimilate into the community and I wasn’t sure what to do.”
That is why Misali decided to become an ambassador for the Hello Cincy program. Now a senior recruiter at Tier 1 Performance Solutions, she became integrated in the community by attending events, volunteering and joining young professional organizations.
“I knew that I wanted to help because I could sympathize with others,” says Misali. “I just wanted to help be that welcoming face and welcoming voice for the region.”
And that is exactly what both Lawrence and Misali are doing. In addition to serving as a resource to newcomers, soon both of them will embark on road trips with their fellow ambassadors to showcase Cincinnati to young professionals across the country.
Considering a move to the Cincinnati? Just moved and have some questions? You can get in touch with the ambassadors by filling out this form.
“I’ll field the questions and then have an ambassador get in touch,” says Wilson. “It can be as formal as setting up a tour of some of the city’s neighborhoods or super casual, like a phone call, coffee meeting or even just someone to text and ask questions. It’s really up to the individual.”
Cincinnati Crash Course: Hello Cincy Day
The ambassador program is only one component of the Hello Cincy initiative. In addition to enabling one-on-one connections, Hello Cincy Day supports young professionals who have recently relocated to Cincinnati and are still trying to plug in.
The full-day Cincinnati crash course introduces newcomers to the region and its offerings, says Talent Attraction, Higher Education and Special Projects Leader Jules Shumate.
The day is shaped around the attendees’ interests and passions, but typically it takes them through different neighborhoods and experiences that are significant and unique to the region.
Depending on the group’s interests, the day may include a visit to the Carew Tower’s observation deck, a streetcar trip to Over-the-Rhine and lunch in one of the city’s trendiest restaurants. It may also highlight the Cincinnati’s farmer markets, food festivals, brewing community, nightlife, famous chefs and other popular landmarks.
“We hope that each person leaves with a bucket list of things to do that are geared to what they personally enjoy doing,” says Shumate.
Finding Your Tribe: The HYPE Community
A different way the Hello Cincy initiative is helping newcomers find their tribe is by introducing them to the Harnessing Young Professional Energy (HYPE) community.
The HYPE community is a coalition of young professional organizations that boosts the YP network hosts social and volunteer activities and offers professional and personal development opportunities, including leadership programs like Cincy Next.
Once newcomers connect with ambassadors and learn more about the region through Cincy Day, the HYPE community helps them become fully integrated with the city.
“Our hope would be to provide something for people to feel that they are connected, but also that they have the resources they need to make this place their home,” says Wilson.
Save the Date
The city's largest YP gathering, BOLD Fusion is an annual summit brings together Cincinnati’s young, creative minds for a provocative discussions, an afternoon of learning and the opportunity to meet and connect with one another. This year’s event will be Thursday, August 2 at Jack Cincinnati Casino.
For ticket information, visit http://hypecincinnati.com/bold-fusion/.
If you are considering a move to Cincinnati or recently made the city your home, you can take advantage of these programs by contacting the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.