Meet ystark! YP: Jordan Knapp
Occupation/Title/Place of work: Staff Accountant Hall, Kistler & Company
Why are you interested you in Stark County’s Young Professionals initiative? I am very passionate about the initiative to bring more young professionals into the Stark County area because I do notice a shortage. I try to attend as many Canton Chamber events as my schedule allows and often times I am one of the youngest at the event by a number of years. This does not bother me in the least bit because I love the opportunity to network with anyone but I would love to see more young professionals starting to get involved. There are a substantial amount of opportunities to grow as a professional in the Stark County and Downtown Canton areas.
What would you share to encourage other people to join? I attended The Canton Chamber’s Stark Forum in December of 2018, held at The Pro Football Hall of Fame, where the tremendous plans for the future of the HOF Village and Downtown Canton were discussed by Lisa Brown of Johnson Controls. The main message I got out of this amazing event was that there was a $30 billion a year company with 120,000 employees that was focused on improving Stark County, with what they called the “Strengthening Stark Initiative”. So I would share that, with the plans to make Stark County into a “smart community” and with what the future has in store, this is where you will want to be.
Where did you grow up, if Stark County what kept you here, if not, where did you live and what encouraged you move to Stark County? I grew up in Hartville and have spent my whole life in Stark County. From going to Marlington High School to graduating from Walsh University, I have never had the desire to move away. In my opinion, Stark County has always had everything I needed.
What do you like MOST about Stark County? Oh boy, there are so many things I love about the area so this is going to be tough to narrow it down to one. Personally, I am a very big golfer during the summer and I cannot speak enough to the amount of quality golf courses in Stark County and Northeast Ohio. Just a few of my favorites being Sable Creek, The Quarry, Skyland Pines and The Alliance Country Club but I could go on and on.
What would you change about Stark County if you could? As I have discussed, Stark County is a great place to be and I have very little complaints. The one thing I would say is the lack of knowledge that I believe is present at the surrounding Universities of what Downtown Canton brings to the table. There are so many amazing and interesting aspects and places to go in the Downtown area and I really believe that a lot of college students have very little to no knowledge of this.
What do you see as valuable opportunities for YPs in Stark County when it comes to career opportunities, cultural access, leadership or community involvement opportunities? From growing up in Stark County, to now working in Downtown Canton, I can say that there are no shortage of opportunities, of any kind. Stark County has a countless number of great companies and places to work in all industries. There is also a plethora of cultural access, not only in Stark County but even just on Market Avenue in Downtown you have the First Lady’s Library, Canton Classic Car Museum and The Canton Palace Theater. Also, something I personally am very interested in exploring is the Leadership Stark County Spotlight Program. The program not only helps you hone in on your leadership skills but also exposes you to numerous volunteering and community involvement opportunities in Stark County.
What would attract more YPs to Stark County? I would explain the lack of knowledge they may have about the tremendous opportunities we have in Stark County and more in particular in Downtown Canton. Personally I was not exposed to Downtown until my first interview at HK and from that point on I began to love the area. I think there needs to be more of a connection between the Chamber and the numerous surrounding Universities. If there is prior knowledge of the amazing plans for the future and some exposure to the area, I believe this will attract more upcoming graduates to focus their job searches and future plans on the Stark County area.
What do you do in the evenings or on the weekends for fun in Stark County or NE Ohio? I love the time I am able to spend with my family and friends, both after work and on the weekends. More in particular, my friends and I have tried out 1899 Indoor Golf a few times recently and it has been a blast every time. 1899 has a number of indoor golf simulators with amazing graphics and the latest technology and even if you are not a golfer, they have a full bar and plenty on televisions, so it really is a great time for everyone. Also, from being involved in the Chamber and ystark! I have been exposed to the numerous and upcoming craft breweries, that there are no shortage of in Stark County. So if craft beer is something you like, Stark County is definitely a great place to be.
Could you see yourself spending your lifetime in Stark County and if not, what would cause you to leave? Yes I absolutely could see myself spending my life in Stark County. I say this for many reasons but ultimately it comes down to the countless opportunities there are to succeed both professionally and in your personal life.