Oklahoma City No. 1
for Job Creation
Brad Holt on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Gallup’s Job Creation Index ranked Oklahoma City as the number one city for job creation in 2011 out of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas. According to the study, Oklahoma City had a job creation index score of 25, outplacing other top-performing cities by at least 3 points and beating the national job creation score by 12 points. Other cities in the top five included Pittsburgh, Pa., Richmond, Va., Nashville, Tenn. and Orlando, Fla.
“Not only are new companies moving to Oklahoma City, but our existing businesses are increasing their workforce and solidifying their dedication to this city,” said Roy H. Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
According to the index, the top-performing large metro areas have above-average hiring levels combined with below-average levels of layoffs. In Oklahoma City, 37 percent of survey respondents said their employers were expanding, while only 12 percent of respondents indicated that their company was laying off employees.
Nationally, 31 percent of U.S. workers said their employer was hiring, while 18 percent said their company was decreasing its size, resulting in a job creation index score of 13. The results are based on nationwide interviews conducted with 96,349 employed adults in 2011.
Oklahoma ranked in the top five states for job creation with an index score of 21. This is an increase of eight points from 2010 levels.
Tania Kohut on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:45:00 am Comments (2)
During last Friday's Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' meeting in Hickory, N.C., chamber executives received some well-deserved recognition from Danny Hearn, IOM, CCE, president of the Catawba County (NC) Chamber, and Chris Clark, IOM, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Hearn and Clark wrote this tribute to chamber executives and the work they do. Hearn read it to the group, and we reprint it here with their permission.
You could be rich…you could have an expensive car and live in a big home.
You could live life with little stress.
You though, lead your community and bear your town’s burdens.
You slave for the common good. You, my peer, take no credit and seldom receive such.
You put your life on hold. On call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Vacations are rare, sleepless night’s common and pay scarce.
If the race is lost by another, you face the music.
You are a professional.
You are kind and sunny and get gray hair and wrinkles and ulcers and headaches for the valuable job you do.
You lead seldom follow. But still they question your value.
Your personal life is fodder for gossip and higher standards enforced.
Where you eat, drink, live or shop is sometimes questioned, criticized and judged.
You get knocked down. Get back up. Move on. You please. Bring hope.
Stand for what is right about business and life.
You help others succeed and make millions.
You leave a legacy, though your name is never on the buildings, parks, roads, lakes and bridges you are responsible for creating.
The towns, lives and youth who are better for your efforts are usually not even your own.
Your community grows great because you planted trees whose shade you will never sit in.
Your gift of leadership is getting someone else to do something you want done, because he wants to do it
A community has abundant doctors and lawyers. They are numerous bankers, teachers and entrepreneurs."
But there is only one person who does your job.
There has never been another person exactly like you. And there never will be again. This is your time.
Because you have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did.
But they will never forget how you have made them feel.
In your community, you are sometimes alone. No partners for support, no second opinions. But you still care.
You do what you do for others, for business, for the community all for the common good.
You are good at what you stand for. You are their voice, their biggest cheerleader.
You are superman and superwoman.
You are special. You are vital.
You take chances, lead the band and live in the arena.
You are in the fight, in the game on the field and in the stands.
They will not hear you complain or criticize or second guess.
You wave. You take the challenge. You collaborate and refuse to hear words of failure.
Without you, economies suffer and communities crumble.
You are my peer. You are a Chamber professional. You matter.
Yes, you matter.
Moore Elected Chair of Chamber Execs Association
Tania Kohut on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Ken Moore, CCE, the President and CEO of the Edmond (OK) Chamber of Commerce, has been elected 2012-2013 Chairman of the Board of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.).
W.A.C.E. is an association of chamber of commerce executives and staff professionals with approximately 800 members in 14 Western states. The association is designed to promote and enhance the professional development of chamber of commerce executives and is the largest state or regional chamber of commerce executives association in theUnited States.
Getting Closer to Members
Mick Fleming on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (2)
As some of you may know, ACCE’s lease is set to expire soon. The team has been very happy in Alexandria; it is a beautiful place and has been ACCE’s home for almost a century. But we’re a long way from a lot of our members. We’ve always thought, wouldn’t it be great to be closer to more of you all, geographically speaking.
Therefore, after much deliberation, ACCE has decided to relocate the headquarters office to beautiful Lebanon, Kansas – the geographic dead center of the contiguous 48 states.
Lebanon (pop. 218) is smack dab in between Salina, Kansas and Grand Island, Nebraska and less than 200 miles from Wichita and Omaha. Denver International Airport, one of the top 5 busiest in the country, is a mere 354 miles down Highway 36. Lebanon is, quite literally, the center of it all.
We considered cities with major air hubs like Atlanta, Detroit, and Los Angeles. But in any of those places we’d still be closer to one corner of the country. In Lebanon, ACCE staff will be equally close to Boston and San Francisco. Our international members will have great access too, Winnipeg and Monterrey are virtually equidistant. Everyone wins!
Since announcing the decision earlier this week, excitement around the office has been palpable. As you can imagine, staff are really excited about the move and the new vacation options it will open. Our sun lovers will be able to hit Pacific coast beaches just as quickly as those on the Atlantic. Office anglers can wet a line in either Lake Superior or the Gulf of Mexico, they are comparably close.
We hope you all will find time to stop by our new home base when we move this fall. You’ll pass us any time you go from coast to coast, so there is no excuse for not dropping in. When you arrive we’ll greet with a warm, “April Fools."
Have a great April Fools weekend everyone!
Oklahoma City Rated No. 1
Cost-Attractive Mid-Size City
Brad Holt on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Oklahoma City has been ranked No. 1 in KPMG’s Cost-Attractive Business Locations study, a component of KPMG’s 2012 Global Competitive Alternatives study. The study measures business operating costs in more than 110 cities in 14 countries. Oklahoma City was named the No. 1 most cost-attractive business location among mid-sized U.S. cities, which includes both cost and non-cost factors such as labor availability and quality of life.
“Oklahoma City’s business community already knows what this study reveals: our business environment--everything from cost to available labor force to quality of life--makes this the best place to do business,” said Roy H. Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, and chairman elect of ACCE. “This study compares Oklahoma City to some tough competition across the nation, and results show that we offer the most secure environment for businesses to flourish.”
The study measured 26 components in each market, as they apply to 19 industries over a 10-year span. More than 1,900 individual business scenarios were examined, analyzing more than 50,000 items of data. Information was also provided on a variety of non-cost components. Oklahoma City had a cost index of 95.5, representing business costs 4.5 percent below the U.S. national baseline of 100.0.
“While business costs are a major component of the site-selection process, businesses should carefully consider non-cost factors that influence the business attractiveness of different locations,” said Hartley Powell, principal in KPMG’s Global Location and Expansion Services practice. “Our study addresses these non-cost factors, which include labor availability and skills, economic conditions, infrastructure, innovation, regulatory environment, cost of living and quality of life.”
Oklahoma City’s strong cost advantages for labor, facility leases, expenses and property taxes contributed to its ranking. Oklahoma City was followed by Nashville, New Orleans and Indianapolis. Full global study results can be found at www.competitivealternatives.com.
DC Cherry Blossom Festival's Chamber Roots
Tania Kohut on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
As we watch our nation's capital transform itself into a breathtaking sight with the blooming of its famous cherry blossoms, ACCE's Chris Mead thinks you'll find this article title interesting. It’s from the Washington Post, dated April 13, 1929:
“Annual Cherry Bloom Fete Planned by Chamber Group”
The lead organizer for the Washington Chamber of Commerce on this project, Isaac Gans, said such a festival would be “the best way I know of to boost Washington.” He predicted 250,000 visitors.
Almost certainly, this festival was inspired by the Apple Blossom Festival, begun by the Winchester (VA) Chamber of Commerce in 1924. By 1929, that Winchester festival attracted 100,000 people each year, including 10,000 people who marched in its parade. This festival was written up from time to time in the Washington Post and in 1929 30 northern Virginia schools sent groups to march in that parade. That Apple Blossom Festival continues to this day.
Perhaps the stock market crash of 1929 caused the delay in starting the Cherry Blossom Festival. In any case, in 1934, the Washington Chamber of Commerce merged with the Washington Board of Trade, and that same year the group(s) put on the first Cherry Blossom Festival. It attracted 500,000 people – twice Isaac Gans’s estimate – in the first year.
Profiles In Courage
Mick Fleming on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Branson Recovery Continues
Brad Holt on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Here's an update on recovery efforts in Branson, Mo., from the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau:
Recovery efforts continue following the touchdown of an EF-2 tornado (winds up to 135 mph) in Branson, Mo., in the early morning hours of Feb. 29. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported, although a significant number of minor injuries and property damage were reported.
“We feel very blessed that there was no loss of life due to the tornado that struck Branson, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those families who did lose loved ones as a result of this large storm system that affected much of the Midwest,” said Branson Chamber President and CEO Ross Summers.
The majority of the storm damage is in sections of W 76 Country Boulevard west of Gretna Road/Hwy 165 and the Branson Convention Center area. Recovery and rebuilding efforts are underway and will continue, with many of the affected businesses reopening or scheduled to reopen in the coming days. W 76 Country Boulevard (also known as the world famous “Branson Strip”) has been reopened to traffic, and visitors are traveling to and from attractions, shows and restaurants unencumbered. Visitors are able to get to and from shows playing currently, with more shows opening as scheduled for the 2012 season next week.
Although much of the damage caused by the tornado was localized to the downtown section of The Strip, numerous residents throughout Stone and Taney Counties were also affected. Damage assessments to private homes are still underway. Power has been restored to the majority of the affected area, and utility crews continue to service areas that are still without power.
Branson Landing has made significant progress in recovery, and the majority of retailers and restaurants will be open for business today. The Branson Airport was unaffected by the storms, and flights are departing and arriving with no delays. Major attractions such as Silver Dollar City, Sight and Sound Theatre, and Showboat Branson Belle (while closed during the first quarter of the year), sustained no damage; TITANIC Museum Attraction, Hughes Brothers Theatre, RFD-TV The Theatre, IMAX Entertainment Complex, Tanger Outlet Mall, and numerous other theatres, attractions, restaurants and retail stores are also undamaged, remain open and are welcoming visitors to the Live Music Show Capital of the World.
It appears that only six of the 50+ theatres in Branson sustained significant damage as a result of the storms. A list of scheduled show opening dates will be posted on www.ExploreBranson.com. The vast majority of shows will open or have already opened on schedule for the 2012 season.
About 10 percent of the 200+ hotels in Branson sustained damage as a result of the storms, with varying degrees of severity. Estimated opening dates for those affected hotels will be posted on www.ExploreBranson.com. Branson has more than 18,000 lodging units, and can host up to 60,000 visitors a day. The storm damage has not substantially affected Branson’s lodging capacity, and the vast majority of accommodations are open for business as usual.
The resilience of the Ozark people, their faith and steadfast nature will shine through this unfortunate situation, and Branson will rebuild and recover quickly.
For up to date information, situation updates, road closures, show schedule changes, affected attractions, restaurants and shopping, consumers should visit www.ExploreBranson.com or call 800-296-0463.
Degrees and Da Grease
Mick Fleming on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)
A number of questioning media stories have appeared lately focused on higher education. Does a degree still matter? Is college worth it? Some high school kid highlighted in these stories might have an older brother or sister with a freshly minted degree and no job. The kid and the story ask why he should apply to college and his parents may be asking why they should borrow the money to send him.
I can't begin to answer all of these questions, especially those related to the relative value of degrees from specific schools. The data on the main questions, however, remains absolutely clear and compelling: People who get a post secondary degree of some kind (graduate, bachelors, associate or certificate) do better in the short term and over a lifetime than people who don't. Interestingly, it is not "some college" that makes the most difference; it is finishing. To paraphrase labor economist Tony Carnevale of Georgetown, a degree is the entrance requirement, the library card, for all of the on-the-job learning you will eventually obtain in the workplace.
Yes, there are differences in the lifetime value of certain kinds of degrees (science v. social service, etc.). Yes, there are reasonable questions about how high is too high on college costs. And yes, dramatic changes in the job market will impact the prospects for each of us at various times in our lives. But the research is overwhelming and consistent. A college degree of some kind is a major determininant of the wealth we will enjoy and produce in our lifetime.
Recent studies have concentrated on that wealth generation impact of higher education. It's not just that degreed people are prepared to take jobs in a regional economy. It now appears that just having such people around helps to make jobs. More on the economic development impacts of higher education in a future installment.
Business gets its way in Oklahoma
Chaaron Pearson on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
The 2010 elections gave Republicans control of state government for the first time in Oklahoma. They have quietly enacted a slate of pro-business measures, including a $350,00 cap on lawsuit damages, the largest rewrite of the state’s workers’ compensation system and new laws making it easier for employers to test workers for illegal drugs, and imposing new limits on employment discrimination relief claims. Chad Warmington, COO of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, said, “we checked off major boxes in all of those areas in the first session. It was very successful.” For more information, read the full article at Stateline.org.