By Roberto Acosta | Flint Journal
BURTON, Michigan — A need to retain young professionals in the area has led Burton resident Brad Johnson to form a new Jaycees chapter in the city.
Burton resident Brad Johnson has started a Jaycees chapter for young professionals in the area.
The Jaycees, or Junior Chamber, is for people 21 to 40 years old hopes to draw in a large crowd to share ideas about business, employment opportunities and build relationships with other like-minded people in the community.
“It was just an idea with my friend in the car,” said Johnson, a former membership vice president with the Spartanburg, South Carolina Jaycees chapter. “I was talking with her about ways she can grow her business and what she can do.”
From the original idea, Johnson contacted the former South Carolina Jaycees president who contacted the Michigan Jaycees president.
“Before you know it, we are starting a chapter up here from an idea that started in my car,” laughed Johnson, 29, owner of Energy Web Design who’s designing Burton’s new governmental website set to launch this month.
“The time is right for this. I absolutely think it will help,” he said of the new group. “Young people in this area need to pull together and those who decide to stay in the area, which seems to be less and less, they need to know each other.”
Sixteen potential members were present at their Jan. 9 meeting, along with members of Michigan and Frankenmuth Jaycees chapters.
Johnson said the new chapter will give people an opportunity to grow themselves, their business, employment skills and become involved in community activities.
“I think this is a really great thing for the area and Burton,” said City Councilman Vaughn Smith, who also serves as a director on the Burton Chamber of Commerce. “We do have young professionals, but we are losing them to other areas.”
Smith called the group “a way to network, to share ideas, to think creatively” and inject new ideas into the business community.
“If you look at the chamber of commerce meetings, it’s usually older people (in the crowd),” he said. “We need the fresh blood and fresh perspective.”
The Burton chapter will hold a strategic meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at Sharky’s Sport Bar, 4050 South Center Road and social gathering 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the same location.
For more information on the Burton Jaycees, contact 810-730-8917, visit burtonjaycees.org or search Burton Area Jaycees on Facebook.