It’s clear to see the impact that young professionals are having on the Lynchburg Region.
Young professionals are founding and leading many area businesses and nonprofits. They’ve enriched the Region’s cultural landscape, creating popular events like Lynchstock Music Festival, Food Truck Thursdays, and Lynchburg Restaurant Week.
While many young professionals were born and raised in the Region, the area’s colleges and universities attract students from all over the world. After earning their degrees, many graduates stay here, a trend that Young Professionals of Central Virginia would like to see increase.
Young Professionals of Central Virginia is a dues-free organization that hosts social and professional development events aimed at those in the 20-to-40 age group. Their mission is keeping young professionals involved, connected, and here in the Region.
YPCV’s “5:35 Connect” social events are especially popular, attracting 50 or 60 young professionals on the third Thursday of each month. Members also volunteer, donating their time and skills to local nonprofits.
Asked why more and more young professionals are choosing to live, work, and play in the Lynchburg Region, YPCV chair Dave Malewitz cited the City of Lynchburg’s affordability, great school system, “top-notch parks and recreation department,” and “vibrant and expanding downtown.”
“Lynchburg has a new beat to it,” he said, adding that many college students and young professionals are renting downtown lofts and enjoying the new restaurants and shops that have opened in recent months in the historic district. “That’s what young professionals want. To come home from work, and go out and eat and drink.”
Malewitz said the Region’s businesses—Centra, BWXT, and others—“know the importance of recruiting young, vibrant talent” into the area. He added that while Lynchburg is an “up-and-coming community,” its close proximity to metropolitan centers like Washington, D.C., and Richmond makes it attractive to young professionals.
“We’re very close to some areas that are more expensive to live in. You can hop on the train and get to D.C. in the morning. That’s very attractive to young professionals. We’re very close to a lot of hot spots.”