Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP), an organization for young and emerging professionals on Cape Cod, will offer its 4th Annual Mentor Exchange Program beginning in January 2018. Both Mentor and Mentee participants are needed for this popular professional development program. A series of information sessions kicked off this week for those interested in applying. Dates, times, and registration for these sessions are available at www.capecodyoungprofessionals.org, along with the program application. The deadline to apply for this year’s Mentor Exchange program is October 27, 2017 at midnight.

For the first time this year, participants in the Mentor Exchange Program may apply to participate in classes through either the Mid-Cape cohort or a new, Falmouth-based cohort. The Falmouth-based cohort is made possible in part by a grant from the Town of Falmouth, and is administered by the Falmouth Human Services Department. The Falmouth Chamber of Commerce is also a key partner for the program, and will provide support and resources through the Falmouth business community to further engage area young professionals.

Through both the Mid-Cape and Falmouth-based cohorts, participants take part in a series of five monthly classes covering topics related to professional advancement, communication, and career planning. Mentors receive their own specialized training in career coaching and mentorship. In addition to class-based instruction, Mentees and Mentors are matched one-to-one to provide opportunities for continued support and professional network development. Following completion of the program, all participants will be recognized by CCYP and its partners at a special graduation and celebration event scheduled for May 17. The Mentor Exchange program was created to expand professional development opportunities for the young professional (YP) demographic on Cape Cod, which has steadily declined in recent years. In its pivotal 2014 ‘Shape the Cape’ Study, CCYP commissioned Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy to examine the driving factors behind young professional attrition on Cape Cod. Through the study, CCYP learned that the number of Barnstable County residents age 25-44 had decreased by an alarming 26% from 2000 to 2010. A lack of professional development opportunities was cited by respondents as one of the primary reasons why young professionals leave the Cape. CCYP has responded by offering increased opportunities for mentorship, professional training, and community networking through programs like Mentor Exchange, bi-monthly “Connect” events for members, and a new Virtual Job Fair, happening later this month. “Mentoring programs have long been used as a strategy to retain and develop young professionals while also increasing engagement among community members who are more established in their fields,” said Lauren Barker, CCYP Executive Director. “To avoid an impending talent shortage on the Cape in the future, we have to work together as a community to foster the growth of our young professionals today.”

The fee to participate in Mentor Exchange is $350 per Mentee. A limited number of scholarships are available to help offset the cost of registration for participants, thanks to support from program sponsor Rockland Trust. Falmouth-based cohort participants are eligible to have their program fee waived, but must provide proof of town residency. There is no registration fee for Mentors. Applications, scholarship information, program requirements, and a full class schedule are available via the CCYP website at www.capecodyoungprofessionals.org/career-resources/mentor-exchange-program/.

About Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP)
CCYP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, founded in 2005 with the goal of providing networking and professional development opportunities for young professionals on Cape Cod. CCYP’s mission is to connect Cape Cod’s emerging leaders, engage them in the community, and support their efforts to advance, personally and professionally. For more information about CCYP, visit www.capecodyoungprofessionals.org.