Young Member Engagement Closes Gaps

The SPE young member engagement committee (YMEC) was created in October 2014 as a result of the reorganizaion of committees as suggested by the SPE Board of Directors. YMEC is a merger of the previous young professionals coordinating committee (YPCC) and student development committee. Consisting of 20 young members with considerable experience as SPE volunteers, YMEC allows the representation of student and young professional (YP) members worldwide.

“Our objective with this proposal is to provide an overarching standing committee which we feel would provide a more holistic, strategic, and coordinated approach to address young professional and soon-to-be young professional needs within SPE,” said Roland L. Moreau, 2014 SPE technical director for health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility, and current SPE vice president, finance.

YMEC is responsible for developing and implementing programs and activities to engage SPE’s young members. Its mandate is to assist in the development of technical and leadership skills, providing all young members with guidance and support to facilitate their career progression.

Mitchell Sherston, the inaugural YMEC chair, was previously the chair of YPCC and has the necessary skills and experience to lead YMEC in its initial years. He said, “YMEC epitomizes all that young members of SPE strive to achieve: A global group of talented individuals that come together to inspire others and to transform the level of engagement of all young SPE members within the industry. I’m excited to see this group add significant value to SPE young members worldwide.”

YMEC has three subcommittees working in the areas of student integration, innovation, and communication, and each subcommittee has 4–8 members. The student integration subcommittee is tasked with improving and creating programs that both enrich the student life, such as the student paper contest, and help integrate the local student and YP communities. The latter effort focuses largely on the need to prepare students for the big unknowns when they enter the workforce. Some goals for this integration include making improvements to SPE’s existing Ambassador Lecture program and the eMentoring program.

The innovation subcommittee is tasked with developing ideas for new programs as well as building continuous improvement strategies for existing programs. In its first year, the team has been working on a number of initiatives aimed at increasing recognition and engagement of young members.

The communication subcommittee has a vision to promote better communication between SPE young member communities whether they are at the student or YP level. To SPE young members worldwide, this means providing links between young member initiatives, such as The Way Ahead magazine and SPEConnect, and also internally facilitate the communication of initiatives by other subcommittees to the SPE community.

The structure of YMEC with smaller teams working toward common objectives has allowed committee members to clearly see how their individual contributions are making a difference and translating to value added for SPE as a whole.

For further questions and interests about YMEC, please contact or post your questions and comments in the YP Network group on SPEConnect.