New hires, interns and recruiters gathered in Midwest Bank on Thursday afternoon to network.
The Intern Mixer was a part of Norfolk’s goal to not only bring more young people to Northeast Nebraska, but also retain them.
“It's just difficult to get people who have never been to Norfolk to come to want to live in Norfolk,” said Cory Hendrickson, a profit center manager for CED Industrial Solutions.
Hendrickson, who co-created the event, said he has new employees at CED Industrial Solutions that he wanted to introduce to Norfolk.
“I actively recruit people to come to Norfolk to work,” Hendrickson said. “And it's sometimes difficult to show people what's going on in Norfolk without them actually meeting people and finding out. So I just wanted to provide the opportunity.”
Emma Bennett, a community development manager for Invest Nebraska, said she created the event with Hendrickson to help newcomers learn about opportunities in Norfolk.
“And (it’s) really just building that sense of community,” Bennett said.
Bennett and Hendrickson both moved to Norfolk years ago and ultimately decided to stay.
Bennett said one reason why she decided to stay was because of the people. Plus, it's a great place to the network because everyone knows everybody.
“It's a small-town community with big-town resources and amenities,” Bennett said. “So I think if we keep younger people coming back and not just going out into the world because they think something doesn’t exist here, that's the big goal for me.”
Many young people who landed internships for the summer showed up to the mixer.
Delaney Meyer, an intern with News Channel Nebraska, said she attended the event to meet new people. She moved from Lincoln to Northeast Nebraska to attend Wayne State College.
“I just like the aspect of community,” Meyer said. “And in Wayne and Norfolk, you get the opportunity to build relationships and meet people.”
However, the mixer also offered other opportunities for people in Norfolk.
Janeen Steffensen, the human resources director for MP Global Products, said she attended the event to hopefully recruit new people.
According to Steffensen, it’s been difficult to recruit people outside of Norfolk. So attending the mixer was a great way to scout for new hires.
“It introduces us to a group of employees that we may not see through the temp agency that we're using or the staffing agency,” Steffensen said. “And mostly just to let people know that we're here.”
The mixer was held in collaboration with the Growing Together initiative and featured Lydee Jo Krueger with Flood Communications as a speaker. Free appetizers and adult beverages were provided as well.
Bennett said they hope to hold the event again next year during the springtime.