Partners producing Young Professionals of Color Conference


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A conference aimed at helping develop the talents of minority business leaders will convene next month.

Cascade Engineering — in partnership with Spectrum Health and Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions, or BL2END — will host the seventh-annual Young Professionals of Color Conference on Aug. 2 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The event will be held at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, at 1001 East Beltline Ave. NE.

Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College, will be the keynote speaker. His talk will focus on the theme “Your Plan, Your Pace: The Path Isn’t Always Linear.”

After the keynote, local business leaders will host breakout sessions focusing on building skill sets, networks and pathways to non-traditional success.

Tickets, $75, are on sale online through July 30 or until sold out.

Young Professionals of Color Conference

Grand Rapids-based Cascade Engineering said it established the event in 2012 to “create a space for young professionals of color to gather and engage with peers and leaders in the Grand Rapids community” and to help businesses “ensure diverse talent development and retention in the region.”

Last year, more than 200 young professionals of color attended the conference at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.


8:30 a.m.: Registration and breakfast

9:30 a.m.: Welcome

10 a.m.: Keynote by Bill Pink

Noon: Lunch and networking

1 p.m.: Breakout sessions, 75 minutes each; conference attendees may choose two sessions to attend

4-4:30 p.m.: Learning dialogue and wrap-up

5-8 p.m.: Conference afterglow and BL2END social networking event at the Grand Rapids Chamber

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