Chambers Mobilizing Towards Goal 2025

Jessie Azrilian on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 3:00:00 pm 

By 2020, the US Economy is predicted to have 55 million available jobs, and 65% of those jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. The fastest growing industries in STEM will require significant levels of education after high school. Evidence from employers surveyed across the country shows an alarming gap between the availability of jobs and workers with the skills to fill them. If current trends continue, these skills gaps are predicted to grow into massive labor shortages.

Big Goal

As the aggregate voice of local business needs, chambers of commerce are partnering with higher education institutions and community stakeholders, in order to equip the future workforce with the skills needed for college and career success. 

Embracing Lumina Foundation's national effort to increase the percentage of Americans with degrees and high-quality credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025, ACCE launched a competitive awards program providing member-chambers a one-time $40,000 award to advance existing post-secondary education initiatives.

While approaches among awardees vary from championing career-themed high schools to launching training programs for healthcare workers, these chambers all demonstrate a history of sustained engagement in moving the needle on regional education outcomes. Through interviews, reports, and peer-to-peer sharing, leadership from the seven winning chambers have provided insights into what it takes to ensure students have the skills needed for success and employers have the talented workforce they demand.

Awardee Interviews

The Goal 2025 blog series will feature one winning chamber each week in order to highlight successes, challenges, and opportunities identified throughout this awards program that can help other chambers build scalable and replicable programs and policies.

Follow the series each week to learn how chamber-led initiatives like Pathways to Prosperity and Talent4Tomorrow are connecting the current and future workforce to high-demand, high-wage skills and careers.

The 2015-16 awards application will launch April 27.

Tags: higher education, Lumina, postsecondary, skills gap, Workforce Development, Big Goal, education, Education Attainment Division, Goal 2025

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Help HERO Help You!

HERO Team / Holly South on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 1:30:00 pm 
Help. Expertise. Resources. Online

Three minutes of your time is all we need! We’d really love to get our members’ opinions of the HERO services. Please click here to answer four simple questions about HERO, and let us know of anything we could add or improve upon to serve you better. Thank you!

Tags: HERO, Surveys

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Reports and Comparisons for Fiscal Year 2014 available in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking

HERO Team / Sarah Myers on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 12:00:00 am 

Get your Chamber's Fiscal Year 2014 data in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking and get free instant comparisons and reports for the Operations Survey, Membership Statistics and Salary Survey reports. Participate in 3 easy steps. Read more about access on our Research Overview page.

1. Log in to Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking with your ACCE username and password. Log in anytime you need to - the system is open 24/7, all year round! It is FREE for ACCE members.

2. Complete the Chamber Profile (required) section first. Then complete the Operations Survey and Salary Survey sections. Note: The Salary Survey section is open to CEO's or their delegates. CEOs may email permission for staff access to

3. Once you have completed 50% or more of each survey, use the Compare Chambers tool and the Reports and Charts service, available in each survey section.

In each survey section, Compare Chambers is used to view on-screen comparisons of your chamber's responses and percentile to each survey questions. In addition to on-screen viewing, you can download the individual metrics to PowerPoint slides, PDF files, or use the Save As option to save each individual survey module by PDF or Spreadsheet. Compare Chambers also works with Year-Over-Year comparisons to view your chamber's performance from 2014-2013 or from 2013-2012. You can input your chamber's data for any fiscal year currently available (2012, 2013, 2014).

Reports and Charts, in each survey section, is used to download the full reports and calculations of the Operations Survey, Membership Statistics and Salary Survey reports, including the new CEO Compensation Overview, CEO & HR Statistics, Senior and Mid-Level Staff, Sales Staff, and Support Staff salary reports. Download these reports and view your chamber's percentile compared to the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of participating chambers.

Tips: Use the powerful filters to compare your chamber to a specific subset of chambers, allowing for apples-to-apples comparisons in revenue, membership size, region, population, staff size and more. Create your own Peer Cluster filter and select 5 or more chambers by name to compare your chamber to. All data is represented in aggregate and data remains anonymous. Use Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking comparisons and reports anytime you need them - making it a truly dynamic system. Need to see your retention stats for tomorrow's board meeting? Bingo! Need to see how your Sales Staff compensation levels and commissions compare to chambers in your region? Check. Need to compare your chamber's revenue or expense to others with similar membership sizes? We've got it all in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking.

Support and Questions: Go to Support in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking or visit our Working with DCB page. Download the the Quick Start Guide (pdf) for step-by-step instructions on using the platform or use the Data Collection Worksheet to help organize your chamber's answers to each of the survey section questions. Attend one of our upcoming webinars. Email for individual assistance.

Tags: 2014 reports, Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking, Operations Survey, Salary Survey

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Coolest Chamber in the Country?

Ian Scott on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 11:45:00 am 

Without a doubt, my favorite museum in D.C. is the National Portrait Gallery. I love the presidential portraits and the folk art exhibit, and the atrium is awesome when it’s stifling hot or freezing cold outside. But what I love most are the rotating exhibits.

Last year they hosted American Cool, a portrait collection of the 100 Americans who define “cool.” Muhammad Ali? Check. Marlon Brando? Check. Madonna? Elvis? Prince? Check, check, check.

But, surprise of surprises, not one chamber exec! I couldn’t even find a chamber board member. No chamber folks on the Alt-100 list (runners up group) either. How was this oversight possible?

Okay, so maybe chamber execs would be out of place among the top 100 (top 1,000?) coolest Americans of all time. But I know plenty of chambers working hard to shake off the stodgy image and channel their inner cool. The most successful right now could be the IndyChamber. Why?

They have their own house band.

The nine-member R&B ensemble called Chamber Music (clever) features five members of the chamber staff and three chamber staff relatives. Chamber CEO Michael Huber holds it down on keyboards. And Chamber Music is not a one-time, staff party gimmick. This group has gigs! They recently rocked the annual fundraiser for the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.

Read more about Chamber Music in the IndyStar. I’m just waiting for footage on the IndyChamber’s YouTube Channel.

Should your chamber be in the running for coolest chamber in country? Leave a comment and tell me why.

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Gauging the Skills Gap: Is Your Community Workforce Career-Ready?

HERO Team / Holly South on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 1:15:00 pm 

Results from the ACCE Education Attainment Division's recent QuickPoll are now available! More than 100 chamber professionals responded to questions about their business community’s perception of candidates, the importance of several core skills, and their chamber’s initiatives. Take a look below, and click here for the complete QuickPoll results.

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that jobs aren’t filled because of a technical skills gap:








  • Half find that a lack of non-technical skills (e.g., communication skills and teamwork)  is also a huge challenge:








  • Of the core skills we asked about, critical thinking and problem-solving is the most highly valued by poll participants:








For more on ACCE's Surveys and Data, including QuickPolls, view our Research Overview page.

Tags: skills gap, Workforce Development, Careers, education, HERO, QuickPoll

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