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Helping North Fulton's young professionals

August 20, 2012
North Fulton is often seen as a home to those who have reached the upper echelons of the corporate ladder – the well-off and those nearing retirement.

The golf courses and senior centers overflow with the ultra-successful and retirees enjoying their golden years. Even in this newspaper, we recently ran a business article highlighting a sudden boom in the building of retirement homes in the area.

All of this points to one somewhat misleading thought – that North Fulton is not a place for young professionals.

To a certain extent, this is true – have you ever tried to find food after 10 p.m. in this area? Almost nowhere is open during the week. It's almost like the entire area goes to sleep at sundown. Housing prices are sky-high (despite the recession) to the point many young people just starting out in a career cannot afford to live north of the river.

Many prefer the cheaper and more active life in Atlanta's Midtown.

However, a new group has started that aims to help North Fulton's young 'uns – the North Fulton Alliance of Young Professionals. It held its inaugural meeting Aug. 16 at the Olde Blind Dog pub in Crabapple.

With about a dozen people attending, it was a small group, but one poised to expand dramatically as a networking and social group.

The mission statement says it all – "Through the energy and passion of North Fulton's young professionals, we further the professional growth of our members through community service, economic prosperity and political advocacy."

Through professional mixers, game nights, leadership seminars and training, the NFAYP plans to provide an avenue for young professionals in the North Fulton area to advance themselves and their careers by connecting with business leaders, meaningful opportunities and relevant insights.

As so many fresh-faced recent college grads quickly discover, in the real world, it's not so much what you know as who you know. Networking is the grease in the wheels of business. And if you can have fun while you're at it, so much the better.

The cities of North Fulton are eagerly trying to attract a younger workforce. Roswell in particular has become a bedroom community for well-off people in their middle age. Alpharetta is trying to seem like the cooler, more hip, younger brother of Roswell, with its mixed-use housing and attractions such as the Verizon Amphitheatre.

But a young workforce craves things to do and people to mingle with, beyond the joys of commuting and a long work day. That's where the NFAYP comes in.

To learn more about the North Fulton Alliance of Young Professionals and to check out upcoming meetings, visit nfayp.com. We'll save a seat for you.

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