What Chambers Are Doing Around the West

Chamber Creates Roadmap to Recovery

In October 2020, the Santa Barbara South Coast (CA) Chamber embarked upon writing a Roadmap to Recovery for the business community and unveiled its completed plan in February 2021.

“As we helped our businesses navigate the ever-shifting, confusing, and often contradictory series of guidelines on how to operate, we were determined to provide a thoughtful, researched, consensus-based plan of action for our members and the business community.”

The plan is comprised of realistic goals for business opening, tourism growth, manufacturing output, customer visits, financial improvements, and the return of the workforce in order to help get Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria businesses back on their feet and thriving.

“This is a business-community focused plan, featuring tactics and milestones that will help us through and out of the economic crisis. We encourage other communities to adopt elements of this plan, or adopt the plan entirely if it is beneficial, to help re-establish a vibrant economy in communities far and wide.”

View the full roadmap to recovery or the executive summary.

Missoula Chamber Teams with State to Launch Workforce Website

In collaboration with the Montana Department of Labor and Governor Gianforte, the Missoula Area (MT) Chamber launched a new MT Workforce Connection website designed to help connect students with “earn and learn” opportunities from businesses in order to fill the gaps in the Montana workforce with a new generation of trade and technical workers.

The website was rolled out to public schools in February and allows counselors, teachers and students to find a list of open opportunities to make money while learning a trade in one easy-to-use site.

To learn more, visit www.missoulachamber.com/workforce-connections.html and to see the Workforce website, visit svc.mt.gov/dli/wc/.

Santa Rosa Chamber Addresses Essential Childcare Needs

In a collaborative effort, the Santa Rosa Metro (CA) Chamber is combining proactive policy advocacy with the development of new partnerships with businesses to increase access to childcare for Sonoma County families by increasing investments in this critical community infrastructure.

In 2017 wildfires destroyed 15 childcare facilities, bringing an already-strained childcare system to its brink and burdening a workforce struggling to recruit and retain new employees and emerging leaders. The chamber stepped in to build a bridge between education and the business sector and not only diagnose but address this issue.

Their efforts were recently recognized by the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Talent Forward Program. The chamber continues to support and encourage businesses throughout the process of creating on-site, near-site, or consortium-based childcare for their employees.

You can learn more at www.forwardontalent.org/stories/santa-rosa/.

Billings Chamber Utilizes Videoconferencing for Advocacy Efforts

In partnership with Montana State University (MSU) Billings, the Billings (MT) Chamber is holding seven Legislative Videoconferences connecting local residents with legislators throughout the 2021 Legislative Session. The hour-long sessions provide Billings residents face time with elected officials and allows legislators the opportunity to discuss their priorities. Videoconferences can be attended in-person or virtually. This is a creative way to convene legislators and business members while adapting to the constantly changing gathering guidelines.

Find out more about this and other ways they have adapted their advocacy efforts at www.billingschamber.com/public-policy/.

Oxnard Chamber Debuts Employee Pipeline

The Oxnard (CA) Chamber joined with the City of Oxnard and Oxnard College to create an employee pipeline for their residents. Participants take three classes at Oxnard College which earns them a certificate and guarantees them an interview with an Oxnard company.

Financial aid is available for the program so it can be offered at little to no cost to participants and the city will meet with participants to help them prepare for their interview. This pipeline has been key to connecting residents to employment with health benefits and filling workforce demands.

To learn more, visit www.oxnard.org/employeepipeline/.

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Information featured each month in Around the West is taken from websites and chamber newsletters that W.A.C.E. receives from its members. We try to share best practices, innovative ideas and programs from chambers working hard to be Catalysts, Conveners and Champions and make a difference in their community.

Make sure to subscribe W.A.C.E. to your mailing list, if you haven’t done so already, and you may be featured in a future Insider!

Send e-newsletters to: jennifer.johnson@calchamber.com.

Send mailings to: W.A.C.E., P.O. Box 1736, Sacramento, CA 95812-1736.