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Chamber Corner

Creating a business environment where our members can thrive

February 22, 2017
By Todd J. Tranum , Westfield Republican

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

This article is part of a series highlighting our efforts to create a business environment in the region where our members can thrive. Our organizations are built to deliver on a five point focus to deliver value to businesses in our region. The five point focus was built around the input and needs of the membership. We work for our members every day to 1) Drive foot traffic and internet traffic into our local businesses creating business to consumer connections; 2) Increase business to business connections for our members through services, events and seminars; 3) Contain health insurance costs through pro-active solutions; 4) Advocate for positive change with a focus on reducing taxes; and 5) Support economic, workforce and tourism development.

Focus 5 of our five point focus is to advance and support economic, workforce and tourism development.

Our members have identified that they are finding it increasingly difficult to hire people to fill jobs in their companies. A variety of data from surveys we have conducted over the past several years, as well as other regional and national data, has confirmed that we have a lot of work to do as a community to address the workforce needs of the region. We have placed specific emphasis on workforce development by working with our educational institutions and forming partnerships to train the workforce of the future, align resources and communicate local career opportunities.

Specifically, we helped launch and are a major stakeholder in the Chautauqua County Education Coalition. The primary purpose of the Chautauqua County Education Coalition is to align resources and build capabilities to meet the evolving workforce requirements of the community. The Coalition is building partnerships to assure that we are "community ready" for opportunities that advance our learning system and lead to job retention and growth. The Coalition is bringing together key stakeholders with a focus on enhancing education in the Chautauqua County learning system to better meet the employment needs in the region.

In response to manufacturers in Chautauqua County who account for $14 billion in annual shipments and 19% of employment we initiated the Dream It Do It program in 2008. Dream It Do It is increasing the skilled workforce pipeline entering manufacturing careers. This is being achieved through a variety of activities including technology tours, career presentations, camps, internships, educator work experiences and technology competitions, all designed to expose students to and encourage careers in manufacturing.

Our role in economic development is to help create a fertile environment for business expansion. We play a support role for economic development professionals in their efforts to bring new businesses to the community. Our role in economic development is business retention through the services and programming we provide our members. We play a similar role in tourism development by supporting the work of the Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau and their efforts to bring tourism to the region. Our direct role it to help existing businesses in Chautauqua County thrive.

If you are interested in learning more about what we do to support businesses reach out to us! Let us know how we can help your business by calling 716-484-1101 or 716-366-6200. You can also learn more about us by visiting us online at

Chamber Federal

Congressional Lunch

March 3

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will once again provide an opportunity for area business people to meet with our Congressman. Representative Tom Reed will participate in the annual Chamber Federal Congressional Luncheon at Webb's Captain's Table Restaurant in Mayville at noon, Friday, March 3. We encourage our Chamber members to come with

questions for the Congressman.

The cost of the luncheon is $20 for Chamber members or $30 for non-members. This event is sponsored by Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Blackstone Advanced Technologies, Fredonia College Foundation, Jamestown Mattress, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and UPMC Chautauqua WCA. To make reservations, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or find our event online at

Jamestown Chamber Salute to the Finest is March 15

The annual Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce Salute to the Finest awards celebration will be held Wednesday, March 15, at Moon Brook Country Club.

This year's awards are being presented to a number of Jamestown area businesses and organizations who have made a difference in their fields. Award winners are: New Business of the Year is Enchanted Mountain Spirits; Young Business Leaders of the Year are Jeffrey & Alexandria James and Frank Besse, the proprietors of Brazil and Labyrinth; Retailer of the Year, Farm Fresh Foods; Restaurant of the Year, Landmark Restaurant; Jamestown Economic Development Award, Borsari Food Co.; Business of the Year, Jamestown Awning, Inc.; and Pride of Jamestown, Jamestown Community College.

The celebration will begin with a cocktail hour at 5pm, followed by a dinner at 6 and the awards presentations. The cost is $30 per person and advance registration is required by March 8. You may register online at or by calling 484-1101.

Hanover Chamber Invites Members to Workers Comp Presentation

The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its February meeting at Tom's Family Restaurant in Irving at 6:30pm, Tuesday, February 21. Tyler Gotowka of Lawley Insurance will be speaking about Workers Compensation and changes to the minimum wage and administrative exemption salary laws. This meeting is open to all Chamber members.



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