Weekly Roundup - February 26, 2021

Will Burns on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 12:00:00 am 

#ChamberStrong Initiatives & Ideas

  • Second chance hiring advocate and friend of ACCE Jeffrey Korzenik, chief investment strategist for Fifth Third Bank, recently spoke to NC Chamber about the benefits and best practices for business leaders considering second chance hiring strategies.
  • The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is moving forward with plans to open the West Alabama Workforce and Community Development Center, a one-of-a-kind facility in Alabama that will house the chamber and West Alabama Works, along with numerous partner workforce and community development organizations.
  • The Southwest Indiana Chamber is merging with two other economic development agencies to form the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership. The merger will take effect April 1.
  • In a recent op-ed Williamson Inc. president and CEO Matt Largen called on the community to rally around its nonprofits, as their service to friends, families and neighbors is more vital than ever.
  • The Denver Metro Chamber had a simple message for Colorado lawmakers in a recent op-ed: "If legislation doesn’t get vaccines into arms, kids into schools or Coloradans back to work and back on their feet, legislators should hold it until next session."
  • Even in the midst of COVID, the Birmingham Business Alliance’s (BBA) Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) team visited more companies than ever in 2020.
  • The Joplin Chamber and local partners unveiled a new collaboration called the Launchpad project, which is designed to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Joplin.
  • The Michigan West Coast Chamber recently asked Cultural Intelligence Consultant, CJ Kingdom-Grier, CEO of Kingdom Grier Consulting, to share advice on how businesses can promote workplace inclusivity in an authentic way.
  • The Torrance Chamber teamed up with PPE Unite to launch a mobile PPE-Up event for small businesses this weekend
  • Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Equity and Inclusion Assessment found that a quarter of Northeast Ohio workforce are Black, indigenous and people of color.


What We're Reading


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Weekly Roundup - February 12, 2021

Will Burns on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 12:00:00 am 

#ChamberStrong Initiatives & Ideas

  • The Metro Atlanta Chamber announced ATL Action for Racial Equity, a multi-year, multi-step action plan designed to help address the ongoing effects of systemic racism impacting the Black community.
  • Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce will provide free rapid COVID-19 testing to chamber members and employees experiencing COVID symptoms. Volunteers who have medical training will oversee the drive-up testing at the chamber building.
  • The Greensboro Chamber launched the inaugural cohort of its Scale to Excel program, which is designed to equip Greensboro-area minority business owners with the executive education, management know-how and business support system needed to take their enterprises to the next level.
  • Following its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference, the Charleston Metro Chamber compiled a guide with resources to help member organizations at whatever stage in the DE&I journey they are in.
  • The Greater Scranton Chamber launched its new Workforce Wednesday initiative, a virtual program designed to introduce job seekers to local businesses that are hiring.
  • The Greater Memphis Chamber formed a new partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)-Memphis Chapter. The first joint venture will pursue opportunities for women who have been out of the workforce for various reasons connecting qualified candidates with potential employers and training programs. 
  • Tennessee Chamber is launching a Support Local Business license plate to promote the work of Tennessee’s business community. All proceeds go to the Tennessee Chamber’s Foundation to promote workforce development and other programs that seek to enhance Tennessee’s business climate.
  • The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce worked with government leaders, public health officials, residents, parents, and the business community to launch its Roadmap to Recovery Plan, which supports the safe and continuous business operation.
  • The Longview Chamber of Commerce launched new talent recruitment tools to help businesses recruit the workers they need by showcasing what it is like to like in Longview.
  • Greater Louisville Inc. President and CEO Sarah-Davasher-Wisdom highlighted the organization’s policy priorities in an op-ed.
  • The six Napa County chambers of commerce, made up of American Canyon, Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga Chambers and the Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, have come together to form the Napa Valley Chamber Coalition to engage in public policy to advance the best interest of its members and the overall community.


What We’re Reading


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Weekly Roundup - February 5, 2021

Will Burns on Friday, February 5, 2021 at 12:00:00 am 

#ChamberStrong News

  • The Indiana Chamber will launch a new Talent Development Clearinghouse to help employers enhance the skills of their workforce and individuals learn about education, training and credentials needed for available jobs and emerging careers. 
  • The Greater Wausau Chamber will host a virtual State of the Labor Market event to help member businesses learn strategies for organizational success, talent attraction and retention.
  • Guided by the results of a recent talent survey, The Wilmington Chamber will form new Talent Pipeline Management collaboratives for the construction and information technology industries.
  • The Worcester Regional Chamber teamed up with several partners to launch a new program that will allow 800 unemployed or underemployed workers train for jobs in the information technology sector.
  • The Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its first diversity summit next month, highlighting topics including subtle discrimination, how to build an inclusive organizational culture, and how to increase equity in the community.
  • The St. Paul Area Chamber adopted a diversity, equity and inclusion program that a local foundation was forced to eliminate due to budget cuts. The DEI Collaborative is a program that works with about three dozen leaders each year to boost diversity, equity and inclusion in local communities.
  • The Nashville Area Chamber and Tennessee Chamber are a charter member of the new Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education. The goal of the new alliance is to seek solutions for closing gaps in opportunity and achievement for historically underserved students.
  • The Paso Robles Chamber partnered with the city to launch a propane reimbursement program for local restaurants and businesses seeking to provide heated outdoor public spaces.
  • Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts recently authored an op-ed highlighting some of the findings of the chamber's recent Achieving Equity to Build a Stronger Kentucky report, which highlighted the realities of inequality across the state and recommended changes to achieve greater equity.
  • Greater St. Louis Inc. is participating in a civic partnership to develop workforce housing with attainable rents in a location that helps connect people with jobs and career opportunities.
  • The Orlando Economic Partnership announced that nearly 100 CEOs and top executives joined a regional effort focused on raising the growth potential of residents by creating opportunities for those long-affected by racial inequality and ensuring pathways for participation in the economy.
  • Hundreds of Spokane, Washington artists are getting help promoting their job skills during the global crisis from a new, local marketing campaign titled “Arts Mean Business.” The promotional project for artists was conceived by local nonprofit Spokane Arts and funded by CARES Act monies awarded by Greater Spokane Incorporated.
  • The Grand Rapids Chamber and Detroit Regional Chamber are among several coalition partners launching an innovative pilot program to address child care accessibility, affordability and quality.
  • The Michigan West Coast Chamber launched its new magazine, "The West Coast Way," built around the chamber's core values and key priorities that best serve its members.
  • South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce will administer a new Restaurant Innovation Grant program to compensate local restaurants for operational changes they've made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Portland Business Alliance developed a roadmap for recovery that offers a way forward for elected officials, public agencies, businesses, nonprofit leaders and community advocates to come together to get Portland’s economy back on track.
  • It was a tricky 2020, but with many major projects in the works, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership believes there is hope on the horizon.
  • The Louisville business community rallied to support and fund Greater Louisville Inc.'s inclusion initiatives.


What We're Reading 

  • Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting to gain greater insight into when consumers will be ready to return to their normal activities and identify what habits may change forever.
  • New research from the Brookings Institution examines the impacts of the pandemic recession across different dimensions and highlights the need for a workforce development strategy that supports workers who will need to switch industries and occupations.
  • New data from the National League of Cities (NLC) indicate that local governments face a projected $90 billion shortfall due to the COVID pandemic. This week NLC called on Congress to approve direct aid to local governments.


Tags: Covid-19

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Weekly Roundup - January 22, 2021

Will Burns on Friday, January 22, 2021 at 2:00:00 pm 

Time to Come Together

After a bitter and contentious election, we have a new administration in Washington, DC and at least 70 new members of congress. Chambers of commerce across the country are assessing the landscape, building relationships and promoting their priorities to elected officials at all levels of government.  

For many years, chambers of commerce have played a key role in united the communities they serve around common objective. With our fractured politics, this role is more important than ever.

“As we continue to move forward into 2021, we have the opportunity to unite all our voices and work together toward a strong future as one country,” said ACCE Chair Jay Byers, CCE, IOM, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “We must focus on the betterment of our nation and our people by innovating, collaborating and working across the aisle. With integrity and civility, we can impact economic recovery, strengthen our communities and find common ground to move our country forward together.”

Read more from the chair here.


New Book for Chamber Pros

2020 ACCE Life Member honoree Dave Adkisson, is releasing his book next Tuesday, January 26. It is titled Horseshoes vs. Chess: A Practical Guide for Chamber of Commerce Leaders.

Dave spent more than 40 years in the chamber industry. With experience leading small city, metro city and state chambers, Adkisson has distilled (see what I did there Kentucky) his experience into a collection of stories and lessons that he wished he had when he entered the business. This book will help chamber professionals be more effective chamber and community leaders.  

For those of you who read on a Kindle, there will be a special launch on January 26 at noon EST where you can purchase the book for just 99 cents during the first two days after launch. There will be a sale on paperback copies as well. Follow Dave on Twitter for updates.


Challenges with Virtual Strategic Planning

ACCE CEO peer group calls this week highlighted the challenges of strategic planning and volunteer leader engagement during a time when you have to hold your planning meetings virtually. How can you make the most of your virtual time together and ensure the same level of collaboration and idea generation as you enjoyed when you could meet in person?

What strategies have worked for your chamber? Please share with me, and we’ll compile a list of the best ideas.

A few virtual tools chambers have been using for their virtual planning meetings to drive engagement include: miro, Mentimeter and slido.


#ChamberStrong Examples of New Mission-Based Initiatives

  • New Longview Chamber of Commerce collaboration aims to grow manufacturing skills to supply capabilities for the existing East Texas industry base, attract new industry and provide students with pathways to industrial jobs that will earn competitive wages
  • The Rockford Chamber and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council believe coming together under one umbrella organization will will help the organizations work together on common goals like business attraction, business retention and workforce development, and it will allow for stronger advocacy on issues favorable to business. Learn more about the unification strategy and structure.
  • Valerie Patton sets her sights on talent and diversity with Greater St. Louis, Inc., a newly merged entity comprised of five of the region’s largest civic groups.
  • In an interview with RDG, Anna Lebesch, Ed.D., vice president of talent development for the JAXUSA Partnership discusses the JAXUSA's Talent Advancement Network (TAN), a network of the Jacksonville, Florida region’s top talent decisionmakers and education providers that work to ensure education platforms are aligned with industry needs.
  • The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance signed on to the United Way’s Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge, journey of learning and self-discovery that aims to help develop more effective social justice habits around issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.
  • The Columbia Chamber of Commerce in Missouri is launching the Workforce Development Division to retain talent in Columbia and to build a workforce for tomorrow.
  • The Dallas Regional Chamber launched the Best Place for Working Parents™ Dallas, a new initiative, to recognize family-friendly workplaces in the Dallas Region and raise awareness of the importance of family-friendly benefits and policies.
  • The Charles County Chamber in Maryland formed a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to increase diversity within the chamber’s leadership, expand outreach to minority-owned businesses and provide targeted training and resources to historically marginalized businesses.


What We’re Reading  

  • The Public Affairs Council interviewed experts from the political and public affairs realm to identify potential policy pivots under the new administration.
  • A new Korn Ferry report explores strategies for companies to transform their workforces to prepare for a post-COVID future.  
  • CivicLab Chosen by Lumina Foundation to Serve and Expand Talent Hubs Network.
  • Facebook released the sixth update to its Global State of Small Business Report, which highlights ongoing uncertainty and challenges, while also showcasing the optimism, creativity and resilience of small business owners.
  • Chief Executive magazine’s latest poll of more than 230 CEOs finds optimism in 2021 business conditions on track and steady after the tumult of 2020.
  • Bruce Katz, author of The New Localism, and his colleagues explore what cities should expect and how they can prepare for new stimulus from the Biden Administration.
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