The Big College Life Event

On October 24th, the St. Louis Regional Chamber hosted the Big College Life Event, the inaugural event of the Project 250 initiative presented by the Stewart Family Foundation, at the America’s Center in downtown St. Louis. With more than 150 students registered from regional schools and over 40 exhibitors, this event was the chance for young talent to experience all the area has to offer to live, work, and play in St. Louis under one roof. The event was powered by Explore St. Louis and sponsored by Olin Corporation, BJC Healthcare, Nestle Purina, and Bayer.

Exhibitors gathered to help students engage with St. Louis university culture, regional employers, professional networks, and volunteer opportunities. Businesses and organizations showcased career opportunities, internship programs, resources available to students in the region.

St. Louis Regional Chamber President & CEO Tom Chulick welcomed the crowd to the Big College Life Event, followed by St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson and ITEN Executive Director Mary Louise Helbig to share some of the exciting opportunities the region has in store. Local violinist Bell Darris performed throughout the event and gave a glimpse of St. Louis’ rich music culture. 

Connecting Talent To St. Louis

Project 250 was launched earlier this year with the goal to diversify the regional talent pipeline by casting a wider net to grow our workforce and make St. Louis a more vibrant economic hub.  Project 250 aims to retain more graduates from local academic institutions and increase the inward migration of talent to the region by engaging students who attend higher education institutions within a 250-mile radius.

More Ways To Connect

This event was just the beginning of an exciting line up of programming that is still to come. Half/Day Experiences also kicked off this fall, where students receive a customized half-day of exploration and recruitment for internships and entry-level positions at local businesses. There are two upcoming experiences being held on December 11th, 2019 at Anders CPA + Advisors and on February 11th, 2020 at Commerce Bank. These events will continue to be hosted throughout 2020.

In 2020, two new programs will be launched. The first will be Hello STL Day, a welcoming event for residents who have recently relocated to the St. Louis region. More than just a networking experience, newcomers will also learn about St. Louis’ history, swing by some iconic landmarks, and visit local establishments so they can see firsthand what makes this region a great place to live, work, play, and invest. 

June 2020 will see the launch of the STL Intern Network Connection weekend (STL I.N.C). STL I.N.C. is a series of free summer events that will connect students to each other for professional development, networking, and give them an opportunity to engage with our regional narrative.  The takeaway from this event is to help students feel connected to the St. Louis region and see it as a place that they can start up, stand out, and stay after graduation. The goal of this series of events is to make these students' St. Louis experience educational, memorable, and fun.

As Project 250 continues to grow, we look forward to introducing more programming that will achieve the end goal of attracting, engaging, employing, and retaining talent to our region. If you would like to be a part of Project 250, please reach out to Arissa Calvert, Project Coordinator, Talent Initiatives.