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In December 2003, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the United Way of Central Florida to provide a venue for retaining young professionals in the community. 

Both organizations sought to honor the rich reservoir of young professionals with roots in Lakeland. They blended professional development with philanthropic efforts – making Lakeland a better place to work, live, and grow. 

In 2004, they formed a steering committee, appointed co-chairs, and developed a mission statement; and so, EMERGE Lakeland was born.

It stands today, offering a welcoming and energizing space for young professionals to hone their skills and connect with one another in meaningful ways.

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