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Connecting the Community

Cape Cod Young Professionals is tackling the loss of young residents on the Cape & Islands by building a captivating community of vibrant professionals and local businesses.

Thirty, flirty, and thriving isn’t just a famous movie line—it’s an important definition of spirit for a dynamic and picturesque region looking to capture the attention of young residents. It’s no big secret that the vibrant culture of Cape Cod in the summer gives way to unique challenges when the months turn cold and the vacation population begins to dwindle. Year-rounders know that the natural splendor of the region and the effervescent energy of the Cape’s small business environment doesn’t fade when the snowbirds fly home for the winter, but still, the ability to build a stable life along with a thriving career in a summer-driven economy should be considered a superpower. Particularly for Cape Cod’s younger residents (as well as those who choose to call Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket home), making connections is a challenging feat—including those all-important professional connections—in a community where population, influence, and opportunity is very often seasonal. For those younger residents looking to build and maintain strong relationships and careers without having to cross the bridge, Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP) is the place to turn.

“Being a part of the Shape Your Cape Summit team was incredibly fulfilling both as a local business professional as well as a long-time Cape Cod resident. Networking events like this, whether virtual or in person, are crucial in helping to build a diverse young workforce here on the Cape. Being involved in the planning and implementation of these CCYP networking events makes me feel that I am personally doing my part to make Cape Cod a great place to work, live, and prosper.” ~ Chris Widegren CCYP Board Member and Senior Specialist – Digital Marketing & Analytics, Cape Cod Healthcare

With a mission to “connect, engage, and advance” the Cape’s young workforce, CCYP understands that the viability for anyone to be able to live and work on the Cape year-round is essential to the future of the region—and it starts with young people. “CCYP has been around for 16 years now, and the problem hasn’t changed,” explains Board President Sara Kohls when asked why the organization is specifically important to Cape Cod. “We work to identify the biggest barriers to advancement for the young workforce here—like affordable housing and childcare—and provide resources to combat those issues.”

CCYP was founded in 2005 by a group of (you guessed it) young professionals passionate about career development, civic engagement, and connecting with the younger population of Cape Cod. Today, as a nonprofit organization, CCYP has a 16-member Board of Directors, 11 unique volunteer committees, and nearly 1,500 members ranging from individuals to nonprofits and businesses of all sizes and fields. The organization provides regular networking events, from smaller, more frequent affairs like morning Coffee Connects to larger events like their annual Back to Business Bash held each fall; offers innovative and successful career development opportunities, like the Career Connect Scholarship, founded in partnership with the Cape Cod Foundation; and contributes to local public policy and resource advocacy. “CCYP helps shape the Cape’s future through innovative programs, partnerships, and initiatives that connect, engage, and advance a community of emerging leaders making a significant positive impact in our region,” says Kristen Vose Clothier, CEO of CCYP. 

Launched in 2015 in partnership with The Cape Cod Foundation, CCYP’s Giving Circle is a unique collective giving program that pools charitable donations from a number of annual donors to make a tangible difference in the lives of young professionals on Cape Cod through an annual grant program to Cape-based nonprofits, support for CCYP initiatives, and funds directed towards building CCYP’s endowment.

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