In September, I had an opportunity to represent the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce at the annual U.S. Chamber of Commerce Advocacy and Growth Conference in New Orleans. It was great to be able to share ideas and opportunities with chambers of commerce from across the United States. One of the recurring topics at the conference was talent and workforce development and how chambers are working to bridge the gap between businesses, educators and talent.
It opened my eyes to the fact that we are not unique in the challenges we face and how we are preparing the workforce of the future in our communities. The Lansing chamber is leading these efforts in positive ways. Whether it’s the Lansing Promise, Launch Michigan, the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance or the Teach. Talent. Thrive. (T3), the chamber has been actively supporting business partnerships with our education institutions that are leading to classroom excellence.
Speaking of excellence, one of the important roles that we play at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is to serve as the voice of business and regional changemakers. This year, the chamber had the opportunity to take a fresh look at our organization and our role in building a stronger region through the development of a new strategic plan. From the beginning of this effort, our goal has been to establish a clear direction and vision for the future of the chamber and our community.
The process also gave us an opportunity to revise our mission, which we believe is in tune with the needs of the business community today and tomorrow. We work relentlessly to help businesses connect, grow and thrive.
We have identified four key strategies along with related goals and tactics that will serve as the core of our strategic plan. These strategies will effectively provide the direction for the chamber of the future.
Excellent Operations: Like any business, we must first and foremost sustain a high-performing organization if we are to successfully execute our mission. This includes maintaining a sound financial performance, strengthening the development of an incredibly dedicated staff and investing in technology.
Business Value: If we are to maintain and grow our membership base, it is imperative that we never lose sight of the importance of delivering solutions, programs and opportunities that add value to the businesses in our region.
Policy Influence: One of the most important roles of a strong chamber is to serve as the voice of business on issues of importance to our regional business community. We are at the table with local, state and federal officials advocating on your behalf, so you can continue to focus on running a successful business.
Regional Leadership: Our members told us we must to continue to lead efforts that drive regional prosperity. Recent successes include the Coleman Road extension, American Airlines gaining federal approval to continue direct flights between Lansing and Washington, D.C., and our efforts in education and workforce development in building the talent pipeline of tomorrow.
As we wrap up 2018, we are also excited about the transformation of our chamber office in downtown Lansing, which is undergoing a major renovation. You will see a new Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce — in more ways than one. We are proud to share these exciting opportunities with you and encourage your engagement in building a better chamber, a stronger community and a more vibrant region.