Forge Young Talent, a leading organization in the region for empowering and connecting young professionals, proudly hosted its 2nd annual Kansas Young Professionals Day at the Capitol on Monday, Feb. 5. The milestone event brought together nearly 100 young professionals from various communities across Kansas and coincided with the state’s 2024 recognition of Feb. 5 as Kansas Young Professionals Day.


Attendees from Topeka were joined by participants from such communities as Manhattan, Salina and Wichita, with groups across the state invited to take part. The event included programming and networking and provided a platform for young professionals to engage with elected officials at the Statehouse, ensuring their voices were heard on issues impacting the future of the state.


This year’s event held particular significance as it took place on the first official Kansas Young Professionals Day, proclaimed by Gov. Laura Kelly at a signing ceremony on Friday, January 26. The occasion marked a shared commitment to recognizing the vital role young professionals play in shaping the trajectory of Kansas.


“The 2nd annual Kansas Young Professionals Day at the Capitol surpassed our expectations,” said Rhett Flood, Forge executive director. “It’s inspiring to see involved young professionals from diverse backgrounds and different communities come together to work for positive change. Through advocacy, education, and networking, YPs are determined to contribute to the betterment of our state.”


“This day was a testament to the power of collaboration and the collective impact young professionals can have when given a seat at the table,” said Zac Surritt, chair of Forge. “The energy and passion shown by those in attendance drove home the importance of engaging young people in efforts to progress our communities and our state as a whole.”


Forge Young Talent remains committed to fostering a supportive environment for young professionals in Kansas and plans to continue providing opportunities for growth, advocacy, and meaningful connections. Juliet Abdel, president of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, congratulated Forge on a successful event, just a day ahead of her chamber’s own Topeka Day at the Capitol.


“Forge’s latest Young Professionals Day at the Capitol demonstrates the organization’s dedication to bringing together and providing a voice to YPs across the state,” Abdel said. “Their engagement in advocacy and strategic networking underscores the role they have in shaping the future of Kansas. Congratulations to Forge on putting together such a successful event.”