Not a Drag Bringing in New Members in Tennessee
Despite the challenging U.S. economy, the Rutherford County (TN) Chamber of Commerce, with the help of Your Chamber Connection, managed to blow away the average number of new members who sign up during an organized membership drive; they even beat their own goal substantially. Their strategy was to use both volunteers and chamber staff to phone, go door to door and generally work the entire county for new members. Wait until you see what the Chamber President did to celebrate the success!
Nashville Workforce Trends
This week I presented the ACCE Chamber Trends show to two different audiences in Texas. When I get to the Economic Development side there is a big question mark beside workforce training, and it has been that way for nearly two years now. The question mark signifies the difficulty to foresee employment levels and talent needs in the middle to long term because the economy is in such a state of flux. My comments on this matter generally elicit a lot of head bobbing. I suspect, however, that an audience in Nashville, TN would have a lot more to say about this issue.
The Nashville (TN) Chamber of Commerce recently released a comprehensive regional workforce study. In addition to projecting the region’s demographic and educational attainment trends for the coming decade, it also forecasts employment demand in macro sectors.
If government was run like a business, it would take advantage of the current economic climate and invest in infrastructure. That is Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein’s argument in the cover story for the Sunday business section.
His case for immediate investment is that crumbling roads, bridges, schools, sewers and an antiquated air traffic control system are economic problems and the labor, material and capital need to fix those problems will never come cheaper.
Klein anticipated my first question (and probably yours) and addressed it thusly:
“But what about the debt, you might ask? Well, what about it? Delaying a dollar of needed infrastructure repairs is no different than racking up a dollar of debt.”
Cleveland Gives Preference to Sustainable Businesses
Last week the City of Cleveland passed a sustainable business procurement ordinance. The measure, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, provides a 4% bid discount to sustainable local companies bidding for city contracts. Area companies completing the first stage of the Green Plus™ program are eligible.
Green Plus™ is a non-profit, third party sustainable business certification program run by the Institute for Sustainable Development. It was originally designed by Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and local chambers of commerce as a way to help small businesses become more competitive through sustainable business practices. The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), part of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, offers its members a discount to participate in the Green Plus Program.
Planning for New Leadership in Tucson
Members of the Tucson (AZ) Chamber are getting an opportunity to not only influence the future of the Chamber , but also the selection of a new CEO. Long-time chamber executive, Jack Camper, has announced his resignation but plans to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and that members get a voice in how the organization moves forward. Says Camper, “The potential is extraordinary. I want the new CEO to take the chamber to the next level. After the new person is in, I don’t want to hear from anyone that they miss old Jack.” Chamber leadership will be using a variety of tools and feedback mechanisms to shape the direction of the chamber for the next several years. To read more about how they are going about it, click here: http://www.azbiz.com/articles/2010/09/24/news/doc4c9cf052eb503240920823.txt