The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) bridges disciplinary, institutional, national, and sector boundaries in the Arctic and Antarctic communities. APECS is an interdisciplinary organization for early career professionals (ECPs) interested in Earth's polar regions and the wider cryosphere, with a global membership of nearly 3,000 actively-engaged ECPs from 67 countries. Our network creates opportunities for international collaborations and information exchange amongst both ECPs and established mentors from a range of disciplines. We aim to recruit, retain, increase cooperation amongst, and promote future polar experts. APECS facilitates the involvement of skilled ECPs in the working groups and committees of our partners, including those of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). This provides ECPs with an opportunity to practice career skills and to work with senior scientists to synthesize information and identify emerging research questions. In this presentation, we discuss how APECS contributes to training diverse, future leaders in the Arctic and Antarctic research and policy communities. Support of ECPs through APECS develops a workforce more adept in interdisciplinary, international, and collaborative work and is, therefore, an investment in the future of the Arctic and Antarctic science and policy.