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Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce's MUUV Organization Helps Businesses Connect

Nov 13, 2017 12:40PM ● By Linda Ditch
Say you leave your job and home in a city like Boston, New York, or Philadelphia to take a new position in the Upper Valley. Now you live in a rural area where houses are more common than apartments. And while you may work at a huge company, connecting with coworkers isn’t always easy. And what about your family? How can you ease their adjustment, help them make new friends, and explore their new surroundings?

The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce came up with a way to help new employees get their bearings in the Upper Valley. The Meet-Up Upper Valley (MUUV) organization is not only a great way to connect new hires with their community but also to help longtime employees find fun, cost-effective activities to do outside of work.

Tracy Hutchins, executive director for the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, answered a few questions about MUUV in an email:       

Q: How long has Meet-Up Upper Valley been around? Why did you set it up?

A: MUUV was begun in 2014. It was conceived as a way to help some of our region’s largest employers retain their workers, especially those who relocated to the Upper Valley from other regions of the country. The idea was to plug recently relocated employees into their new communities and showcase some of the wonderful and unique recreational opportunities available here. And for those employees who are longtime residents, the program provides an opportunity to develop new hobbies, meet new people, and have experiences at a lower cost than they could find on their own. We negotiate group rates for most activities.

As one HR manager recently said to me, their company hires over 100 people each year, and many relocate from more urban areas. They may love their new UV home but not know where to start to meet people. The Upper Valley is just more spread out and different from Boston or Philadelphia or other urban centers. MUUV gives them opportunities to meet people at other companies and within their own company on a relaxed, away-from-work basis.

Q: What are some of the benefits companies get for being a part of MUUV? 

A: Companies benefit in the following ways:

  1. Employee retention
  2. MUUV is an employee benefit that is relatively low cost to the company but appreciated by employees.
  3. The Hanover Chamber of Commerce (HACC) takes care of all administration, coordination, and negotiations. The company doesn’t need to spend time or labor, other than notifying its employees of the events.
  4. Employees feel more connected to their communities, so they want to stay in the Upper Valley. 

You can see from the events on the website that we try to offer a variety of programs and events, from classes to experiential events like kayaking and snowshoeing, to bus trips. Our goal is to offer programs that appeal to everyone.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add? 

A: We are looking to add more partnering companies for 2018. Also, because workforce recruitment and retainment are such important issues for our businesses, large and small in the Upper Valley, the HACC is looking at ways we can utilize MUUV to address these issues.

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