Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Program of Work
Three-Year Strategic Initiatives
Time and again, Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members have said, not surprisingly, that the economy in general and job creation and business development specifically were first and foremost on their list of priorities. Education and workforce development, which go hand-in-hand, also continue to rate very high in terms of how the Chamber membership feels we should best direct our resources. With the pulse of the membership as guidance, the following three-year strategic initiatives have been adopted:
Economic Development – The Chamber’s primary reason for existence is to help improve Rowan County’s economy. With that premise, the Chamber will continue to explore ways to retain and attract business investment via such initiatives as our Business Resource Center, including Business Counseling and other Business Assistance Programs. We also will aggressively seek to assist other organizations involved in economic development including the Economic Development Commission, North Carolina STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Collaborative, county and municipal governments, institutions of higher learning and other peer groups. (Executive Committee, Business Council and Task Force for Progress)
Rowan County Governments – Rowan County Commissioners and all municipal officials must be unified in moving the County forward. This should begin with unparalleled cooperation between municipal and county governments, flexible attitudes regarding change and growth, less regulation and generally “thinking outside the box.” The Chamber will continue to develop positive relationships with all levels of government in Rowan County so that we may offer our assistance and support where appropriate. On issues that directly affect the business community, we expect and will strive for the Chamber’s point of view to be properly represented. (Executive Committee and Task Force for Progress)
Workforce Development – A skilled workforce is one of the critical components of a thriving economic environment. We are engaged in an effort to evaluate workforce needs in the community and prioritize programs for the future to meet those needs. This initiative involves efforts to inform middle and high school students, their parents and educators about the changing world of work. We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of various forms of communication used as we move forward with our “Geared Up 4 Success” program and other Workforce Development initiatives. (Workforce Development Alliance)
Education Advocacy – The Chamber continues its support of life-long education opportunities for Rowan County citizens. To this end, the Chamber’s formation of an education advocacy group, Rowan Partners for Education, is bringing fact-driven reasoning to public school improvement in Rowan County. The Chamber will continue to encourage, nurture and support Rowan Partners’ growth and development with the expectation of this organization remaining a partner of the Chamber and business community for years to come. (Rowan Partners for Education)
2012 Program of Work
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Mark Seifel , Division Chair
GOAL: Enhance Rowan County's Business Vitality.
Cathy Griffin , Chair
OBJECTIVE: Identify business needs and provide resources to meet those needs.
ACTION ITEMS: Promote business by sponsoring our annual Business Show and other special events such as Speed Networking.
Support business via our 'MarketSpace' coupon program and our $20/20 initiative.
Promote seminars of benefit to the business community.
Present the Annual 'Chamber Champion' Small Business of the Year Award.
Partner with other entities (area educational institutions, etc.) in developing resources for business.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Penny Greer-Link , Chair
OBJECTIVE: Support Chamber women in business.
ACTION ITEMS: Provide regular networking opportunities for this segment of the membership.
Offer programs and venues for the exchange of ideas and success stories.
BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER
OBJECTIVE: Provide comprehensive services and resources to new and existing businesses.
ACTION ITEMS: Provide information relevant to start-up companies and other business resources via the Chamber's web site www.rowanchamber.com/
Offer business counseling by trained professionals for both start-up and existing businesses.
Subscribe to periodicals on starting and managing a business.
Provide access to electronic business resources such as personal computers, the Internet, business reference links and business plan programs.
Mark Seifel , Chair
OBJECTIVE: Provide forums and information for key personnel of the county's major employer and manufacturing sectors and encourage a broad base of participation.
ACTION ITEMS: Sponsor regular meetings with key personnel of this segment of our business community.
Organize seminars and plant tours and provide speakers of interest to the group.
OBJECTIVE: Be alert to agricultural problems and opportunities and help address them.
ACTION ITEMS: Co-sponsor with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service the Annual Junior Dairy Show and provide awards for winners.
Co-sponsor with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service the Annual Farm-City Day Outstanding Agriculture Production Awards.
Co-sponsor with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service an Agricultural Tour within Rowan County.
Communicate identified agri-development opportunities to the agricultural community through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIVISION
Ted Goins , Divison Chair
GOAL: Develop And Support Programs That Encourage A Quality Educational System And Workforce For Rowan County. In Addition, Promote Consensus Building And Effective Relationships With Federal, State And Local Government Entities As Well As Other Organizations.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE
Julie Gainer , Chair
OBJECTIVE: Respond to the business community's stated need for a more qualified workforce by working with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC), the Rowan-Salisbury Schools (RSS) and Job Link Career Center to foster an understanding of the changing world of work for students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Action Items: Continue to administer the Graduate Advancement Project (GAP) in all Rowan-Salisbury high schools and report annual outcomes to the Chamber, Rowan-Salisbury Schools (RSS) and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC). (In-kind value RSS-$8,000/RCCC-$8,000)
Participate in and support information sessions for stakeholders to promote awareness of technical and career education opportunities for the emerging local job market through employers, public schools, community and technical colleges and universities. (In-kind value RSS-$3,000/RCCC$3,000)
Actively support the development and implementation of the local North Carolina STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative for emerging industry sectors.
Maintain the interactive website focused on our Geared Up 4 Success (GU4S) Program including active links to the RSS, RCCC, Local Employment Services office and business and industry partners.
Promote the GU4S Program through specialized advertising (i.e., media ads, specialized marketing pieces, banners, appropriate social media, RSS Connect Ed Communication System, etc.)
Review data collected from all sources (GAP, Local Employment Services office, GU4S website and other feedback) and analyze outcomes in order to develop future direction for programming.
Continue to identify strategies to extend Workforce Development Alliance initiatives through the assigned budget and volunteer activities. (Cash-2012-13 - $4,850)
OBJECTIVE: Develop and carry out programs for recognizing teachers and students in public education.
ACTION ITEMS: Sponsor the Workforce Development Award given to outstanding Vocational Education students in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
Sponsor the annual New Teacher Breakfast.
Sponsor the Teacher of the Year Program.
Explore additional programs for recognizing students and teachers in public education.
Jeff Jones , Chair
OBJECTIVE: To prepare committed and qualified individuals to assume leadership
roles in the community and to further enhance the abilities of existing
ACTION ITEMS: Identify and select highly motivated potential and existing leaders to participate in the leadership development program.
Systematically examine and challenge the participants to respond to the needs of the community as well as to the dynamics of social and economic change.
Encourage an esprit de corps among the participants which will provide common ground for working together on present or future community issues.
Create dialogue and a sense of teamwork between the participants and existing community leadership.
Identify organizational and individual opportunities for community involvement and assist in the placement of participants.
Award scholarships to Leadership Rowan participants.
FEDERAL & STATE AFFAIRS
Tim Norris , Chair
OBJECTIVE: Enhance communication and discussion with federal and state governments on important issues relating to Rowan County, its municipalities, businesses and citizens.
ACTION ITEMS: Review relevant state and national regulatory and legislative issues, make necessary policy recommendations to the Board of Directors and make these recommendations known to Chamber members, the general public and elected officials.
Encourage Chamber members to correspond with state legislative and congressional leaders on key issues.
Organize meetings with state legislators and agencies both in Rowan County and Raleigh as needed.
Participate in the annual Washington, DC trip sponsored by representatives of Congress. Schedule meetings with our congressional delegation while there.
Organize additional local legislative forums when appropriate and necessary.
OBJECTIVE: Enhance communication and discussion with local government entities and affiliated organizations on important issues relating to Rowan County, its municipalities, businesses and citizens.
ACTION ITEMS: Study and take to the Chamber Board of Directors positions on local issues important to the business community. Communicate these positions to Chamber members, the general public and elected officials. Particular areas of interest include improving Rowan County's economy, land-use and infrastructure/transportation system.
Conduct Candidate Forums as needed for County Commission, Municipal and School Board Elections.
Continue hosting regular meetings of all Rowan County mayors and 'Friday Forum' membership meetings on timely topics.
MEMBERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Judy Grissom, Division Chair
GOAL: The Best Chamber of Commerce Possible
Judy Grissom , Chair
OBJECTIVE: Build the Chamber's membership base through recruitment of new members and retention of current ones.
ACTION ITEMS: Conduct an Annual Membership Drive.
Continue New Member Receptions and member visitations.
Organize the Chamber's Annual Membership Meeting.
Continue the Business After Hours membership mixer and business showcase.
Participate in Chamber member grand openings, ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings.
Produce the Chamber's monthly newsletter and newspaper ad, broadcast e-mail communications and the annual Business Directory/Relocation Guide including our on-line version at www.rowanchamber.com. Continue to use the Chamber's Facebook Page and Twitter to promote events, programming etc.
Explore additional membership development and networking opportunities for both the larger membership base and defined segments.
Present the Annual Paul E. Fisher Volunteer of the Year Award.
Stephen Kidd , Chair
OBJECTIVE: The Chamber's Finance Committee will assist staff and volunteer leadership in preserving the overall financial integrity of the organization. This group should serve as a sounding board, advisor and ally toward the goal of sound fiscal policy.
ACTION ITEMS: Review annual budget prior to Board presentation.
Monitor Chamber's financial statements.
Assist with other financial issues as needed.