When new employees in the Corning Valley want to meet coworkers, volunteer in their community, and find employees' most popular places to eat and shop, the company's "starter" employee resource group (ERG) is ready to help.
The Corning Professionals Network (CPN), with more than 600 members in the region, and chapters in Hickory, N.C., and Reynosa, Mexico, puts out the welcome mat on new hires' first day, letting the newcomers – many of whom are new to the area – know that there are many places to go and things to do, and many friendly co-workers to meet.
"We are your starter ERG," said Deanna, CPN president. "If you are new, especially new in the Corning area, we can help you get acclimated."
Deanna joined Corning in June 2014 after graduating from Penn State University in State College, Pa. "I moved from a place where there were 40,000 people my age to a small city where I didn't know anyone," she said. "A co-worker told me about CPN and I joined right away. I met about 40 people at my first event, a miniature golf outing."
In addition to mini golf there are many other after-hours networking opportunities, including at sports events, bowling nights and cookouts tailored for families, happy hours, and an annual wine-tasting tour and a hiking trip.
Volunteering is equally important, according to members, who recently helped sort food at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier in Elmira, and spruce up the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA, near Elmira.
"I think it helps new employees establish a sense of belonging in their community," said Jeremy, CPN vice president. Jeremy arrived in Corning in late 2013 from Portville, N.Y., near Olean, and a CPN holiday party welcomed him to the area.