Networking event wants young professionals to 'come home' to Syracuse

Dec 29, 2017

The annual "Come Home to Syracuse" event connects people who are home for the holidays with job opportunities in Syracuse. 40 below, the organization that puts on the event, is also expanding with more opportunities in 2018.

Joseph Quinn, 23, graduated from SUNY Oswego last year with a business administration degree. He has been working part-time, living at home with his parents in Cicero. His dad encouraged him to check out the "Come Home to Syracuse" event where he could network with employers in the area.

“It was fun, they felt really supportive and they feel like they can bring you on board," Quinn said. "I really liked some of the financial advising places, like Northwestern Mutual and AXA. They’re really specified to my field that I want to specialize in.”

Patrick Fiorenza with 40 below is an example of the people they are trying to reach. Three years ago he left a job at a startup in Washington D.C. to return to Syracuse after attending the networking event.

"For me it was just about priorities," Fiorenza said. "I knew I wanted to set roots at home. I knew this was a great spot to raise a family. It was hard to say goodbye to a good job, a great city. I was thinking about an investment for me down the road and where I wanted to be. It's a hard decision for a lot of people. It's life changing." 

Eric Ennis of 40 below said nine employers and about 75 people signed up for the event.

“Syracuse is not the same place it was five or three years ago," Ennis said. "There’s employers here that are ready to hire and we want to be able to connect people that are looking to come back home after the holidays.”

Ennis said the volunteer organization is spinning off from CenterState CEO into its own nonprofit known as Adapt CNY.

“To basically give us more capacity, give us new structure, so we can do more programming and these kind of events,” Ennis said.

Adapt CNY is planning more speed networking, public art projects and collaborations with the city’s land bank.