Lansing 5:01 retains and attracts talent by showcasing the city's evolving hipness

A group of young professionals bound by a common ethos are continuing to build an initiative that highlights Lansing's emerging scene for dynamic, urban living.
Launched in early spring 2016, Lansing 5:01 brings together college interns and young professionals through organized activities that showcase the quality of life and professional opportunities in metro Lansing. The goal, says founder and chief architect Chris Sell, is to retain and attract a new generation of talent, as well as to grow the city's skilled, professional workforce.
"Our mission is to demonstrate that Lansing is a vibrant place with a great downtown and great surrounding region for young people who would want to live here after graduating college," says Sell. "It's a great city with a lot of the things that young adults are looking for."
Modeling the organization on similar groups in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Sell worked with a handful of like-minded professionals, LEAP, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Lansing Mayor's Office to bring Lansing 5:01 to life. Being totally volunteer-driven sets Lansing 5:01 apart from other groups, Sell says, as well as the group's emphasis on programming that connects college interns and young professionals.
"We believe that the best ambassadors for this community are the young professionals who have chosen to live and work here," Sell says. "We're also working to reinforce the fact that Lansing does stay alive after 5 and on the weekends."
The summer-time launch of Lansing 5:01 has included two events to date, with a third set for July 26th. The first was a kick-off party and concert at the Lansing City Market Riverfront, the second was a mixer and anniversary celebration of The Hatching at the Lansing Brewing Company. The third event will celebrate the anniversary of Grand River Connection—Lansing's original networking group for young professionals—with a panel discussion on the myriad opportunities for living, working and playing in Greater Lansing.
Sell says that events have been well-attended to date, with up to 350 interns, professionals and members of the general public showing up for food, festivities and networking activities. Lansing 5:01 is currently assessing activities and events beyond its inaugural summer. Sponsors of the fledging networking organization comprise companies and organizations that boast strong internship programs, including those in healthcare, insurance, technology and IT, education, advanced manufacturing, finance and non-profits.
"We strive to be welcoming to all interns, whether they work for an international company or a small nonprofit," Sell says. " We see them all as valuable residents of our community—regardless of their profession."
Source: Chris Sell, Founder and Chief Architect, Lansing 5:01
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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