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Chambers Mobilizing Towards Goal 2025

Jessie Azrilian on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 12:00:00 am 
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In 2014, seven chambers of commerce received awards for setting ambitious higher education attainment agendas and showing momentum in achieving their goals.

By 2020, 65% of jobs will require some form of postsecondary education, with the fastest growing jobs in STEM requiring high 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. Business communities are addressing this problem by pairing with higher education institutions to prepare the future workforce for success in college and career.

ACCE has embraced Lumina Foundation’s Goal 2025, a national effort to increase the percentage of Americans with degrees and high-quality credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. In partnership with Lumina, ACCE’s Education Attainment Division launched a competitive awards program, providing ACCE-member chambers a one-time $40,000 award to advance defined regional higher education attainment goals.

While approaches vary from career-themed high schools to training programs for healthcare workers, awardees all demonstrate a history of sustained engagement in moving the needle on 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.

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: big goal, Education, education attainment division, goal 2025, higher education, Lumina, postsecondary, skills gap, workforce development

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Help HERO Help You!

HERO Team / Holly South on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 1:30:00 pm 
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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 
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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 HERO@acce.org.

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 HERO@acce.org 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 
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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 
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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: Careers, Education, HERO, QuickPoll, skills gap, workforce development

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Making the case: “Don’t support the chamber . . . unless”

Tania Kohut on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 12:00:00 am 
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Last month, Mike Elswick, publisher at the Terrell Tribune in Texas, didn’t mince words when he made the case for joining his town’s local chamber . . . or not. His opinion piece, published with the provocative headline, “Don't support your chamber of commerce .... unless,” makes numerous arguments for why businesses in Terrell, Texas, should join their local chamber. His points can be applied to any chamber’s membership recruitment efforts, but the way he presents his case makes this op-ed a must-read.

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Charlotte Chamber: All in for transportation funding

Hannah Nequist on Friday, February 20, 2015 at 4:00:00 pm 
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As part of their Grow America tour, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary (and former Charlotte Mayor) Anthony Foxx met with local business and civic leaders in Charlotte this week. Their tour serves to promote the President's proposal to rebuild or replace America's crumbling infrastructure.

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce was in attendance and is in support of congressional action on infrastructure funding. (Click here to hear reactions from chamber leaders invited to attend.) According to Bob Morgan, president of the chamber, the Charlotte region currently has two million residents, and is expected to reach four million within the next 20-30 years. As the fourth fastest growing state in the nation, funding infrastructure to support that growth is a major concern. Although the Charlotte region has great plans for economic growth and infrastructure improvement, their ability to execute those plans relies heavily on federal action.

The president's proposal, which includes $478 billion in transportation infrastructure investment over six years, serves to solve the transportation funding problem. The Highway Trust Fund is expected to once again run out of money in May 2015 if congress does not act. There is still much debate over the best way to pay for increased transportation funding, but one thing is clear: something needs to be done, and soon.

Although transportation funding is a priority in Charlotte, it is also vital to all cities, regions and states across the country. A nationwide coalition of Chambers has banded together in support of congressional action on this issue. To find out more information about the coalition, their letter to congress, and how you can join the Charlotte Chamber in support of this issue, visit acce.org/transportation.

 

 

Tags: Government Realtions, Public Policy, Transportation

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Congratulations to these ED Rockstars

Hannah Nequist on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 12:00:00 am 
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Recognized by two different industry-leading groups, Paul Rumler, Chief Economic Development Officer of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, and Larry Burkhardt, Executive Vice President of the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, have recently been named top performers in the industry. 

Rumler, who has served the Quad Cities chamber for more than 8 years, was named to the 40 Under 40 list for the economic development profession. Individuals recognized on this prestigious list represent young leaders who have raised the bar in economic development through innovation, high standards, strong character and a track record of success.  

Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, has included Larry Burkhardt among its list of North America's top 50 economic developers. Nominated by colleagues, Larry is recognized for helping the Fox Cities Chamber establish an economic development organization that is growing in its reputation as a credible, professional and effecting job creation catalyst. 

Congratulations to both division members on these outstanding commendations!

Tags: awards, Economic Development

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On the Road with The Magicians of Main Street

Tania Kohut on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 12:00:00 am 
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Recently, ACCE's Senior Vice President Chris Mead has had the honor of visiting member chambers to share the stories and history of chambers of commerce presented in his book, The Magicians of Main Street. Last Thursday, he was the featured speaker at the Walton Area, Fl., Chamber's annual gala and 90th anniversary event. Today, he travels to his hometown of Chapel Hill to be the keynote speaker at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber's annual meeting.

"Chambers of commerce in the United States have such a rich history on their own, but few know about their integral part of American history," said Mead. "I really enjoy seeing the audiences' reactions of surprise and sometimes delight. These stories can be a motivator for chamber staff and volunteers to think big."

Look for Mead's presentation in your area or the next chamber execs meeting. In February he is slated to speak at Ohio Chamber execs (CCEO), Commerce Lexington, and One Southern Indiana. He will also present this spring at Mid-America Chamber Executives' Annual Conference in South Dakota, MAKO Chamber Conference in Missouri, and the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals' Spring Conference.

The Magicians of Main Street is available on amazon.com. Learn more about the book here.

 

 

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From Microsoft: Windows Server 2003 Extended Support Ends July 14, 2015

Tania Kohut on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 12:00:00 am 
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Microsoft is ending support for Windows Server 2003, which could leave small business exposed to elevated cybersecurity risks and possibly unable to satisfy compliance requirements. Microsoft has provided some helpful resources to evaluate a migration plan.

An Important Message from Microsoft:
Windows Server 2003 extended support ends July 14, 2015. Start planning now.

As a part of normal product lifecycles and to accommodate the shift towards modern technology and mobility, Microsoft will completely end support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. Security patches and updates will no longer be available after this date. This Alert from the Department of Homeland Security indicates the seriousness of this development, and Microsoft encourages all businesses to carefully evaluate a migration plan. Safeguard your business and make migration a priority with these helpful links:

 

 

 

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