I. Workforce Development
Objective: Determine workforce needs in terms of knowledge and skills in order to build a base of qualified, skilled applicants for current and future businesses.
Strategy 1. Extract data to determine our current status in becoming a community with a readily available workforce with the knowledge and skills
desired by the business community.
Tactic: Develop ‘snapshot’ document to illustrate supply/demand gaps in workforce
Strategy 2. Work with GIPS on promotion and fundraising for Career Pathways Institute.
Tactic: Provide scholarships to students who want to have an impact on Grand Island.
Tactic: Work to develop additional/replacement career pathways in high-demand industries.
Strategy 3. Develop the Young Professionals Program as a workforce recruitment/retention initiative.
Strategy 4. Provide educational sessions on topics pertinent to Chamber Partners’ needs to improve productivity and resultant bottom line.
Strategy 5. Continue serving as area coordinator for Dream It! Do It!
Strategy 6. Support efforts to recruit employees to Grand Island.
Tactic: Assist with development of internship programs.
Tactic: Participate in college/job fairs to promote Grand Island as place to locate.
II. Business to Business
Objective: Provide a venue for businesses to connect and promote their products and services.
Strategy 1. Provide networking and relationship building events including:
a. Business After Hours
b. Chamber Connectors
c. Annual Meeting
d. Golf Outing
Strategy 2. Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect Chamber partners.
Strategy 3. Strengthen Connectors Mentoring Program, matching new Chamber partners with a Connector.
Strategy 4. Promote, publicize and market the partnership with Nebraska Business Development Center.
Strategy 5. Provide businesses the opportunity to sponsor events thereby publicizing and marketing their business.
b. Community Profile Publication
c. Web Site (to be determined)
d. Newsletter (to be determined)
Strategy 6. Provide businesses the opportunity to advertise to fellow Chamber partners via Chamber resources.
a. Promo Pack (continuation is questionable)
b. Broadcast Emails
Strategy 7. Collaborate with entrepreneurial organizations to identify and support entrepreneurial efforts.
III. Quality of Life
Objective: To enhance the economic vitality of the area and attractiveness for new and existing businesses, workforce, and recreational/cultural venues.
Strategy 1. Identify opportunities for improvement in civic dynamics, educational attainment, and economic growth.
Tactic: Coordinate meetings with elected officials and/or civic groups on pertinent topics.
Tactic: Utilize email blasts to disseminate information on pertinent topics.
Strategy 2. Engage business leaders from various fields (medical, professional, manufacturing, education, etc.) to identify barriers to employee recruitment.
Strategy 3. Develop strategic plan for Grand Island’s future by identifying opportunities and challenges that may be preventing Grand Island from reaching its full potential.
IV. Community Development and Visioning
Objective: Work with the community partners to marshal the resources of the business and professional community, public entities and stakeholders, to develop strategies to help Grand Island grow and compete for high quality, high skill jobs.
Strategy 1. Meet with community partners on quarterly basis to coordinate efforts for growing Grand Island. New executives at the CVB and EDC provide excellent opportunity for change.
Strategy 2. Develop plan for targeted business growth and growing Grand Island’s economic base in order to increase average household income.
Tactic: Utilize the State of Nebraska’s Battelle Study to determine if areas of emphasis for the State could be met in Grand Island.
Tactic: Establish technology Resource Teams to identify gaps in Grand Island’s ability to attract technology companies and devise ways to address the gaps.
Tactic: Meet with existing companies to identify specific product/services sectors that complement current business make-up.
Tactic: Maintain and promote available commercial buildings and sites via the Site Selection Software Database and in conjunction with the Economic Development Corporation.
Strategy 3. Undertake analysis of Chamber’s current marketing/promotional efforts and develop plan for improvements and implementation processes.
Tactic: Enhance web site to promote and market Grand Island to site selectors and business location decision makers.
Tactic: Utilize social media to communicate development objectives and efforts.
Tactic: Schedule visits for elected officials to existing businesses and events.
Strategy 4. Because community health and growth is dependent on many factors, develop initiatives that reach out into the various spheres of community life – political, educational, economic, recreational and cultural – that could impact perceptions and thus, business growth.
V. Brand Grand Island
Objective: Build Grand Island’s image to attract targeted businesses, recreational events and business events.
Strategy 1. Effectively utilize social media to reach target audiences such as young professionals, entrepreneurs, meeting planners, and association directors.
Strategy 2. Build on existing “Can Do” image facilitated by State Fair volunteers; continue coordination of State Fair Volunteer Program as funding allows and with the participation of community stakeholders.
Strategy 3. Work with stakeholders to facilitate a community visioning process.
Strategy 4. Develop (or promote) programs demonstrating the importance of agriculture to the Grand Island economy.
Strategy 5. Assist with promotion and marketing of community’s resources, including Heartland Events Center and agricultural/livestock buildings.
Tactic: Secure and allocate funds specifically for promotional efforts.
Strategy 6. Coordinate community events such as Harvest of Harmony, Agricultural Institute of Nebraska/Husker Harvest Days and Business Improvement Districts.
Strategy 7. Assist with securing resources and addressing logistics for Nebraska State Volleyball Tournament as requested.
Strategy 8. Issue regular economic impact data on events, business expansions, and new business opportunities.
VI. Build Business Advocacy
Objective: To pursue and promote opportunities for business and to create a business friendly environment relative to taxes, regulations, labor, and quality of life.
Strategy 1. Increase participation in the Governmental Affairs Committee and strengthen influence.
a. Develop and make public the Chamber’s Legislative Platform
b. Updates to partnership on legislative bills and Chamber’s positions
c. Publish a legislative scorecard at conclusion of Legislative session
d. Hold Legislative Kick Off with Area Senators and Governor
e. Participate in Tri-City legislative luncheons
Strategy 2. Meet with local governmental entities on a regular basis to share business issues.
Strategy 3. Survey Chamber members to ascertain information on topics of significance to their operations from a regulatory or legislative perspective.
Strategy 4. Communicate regularly with businesses on issues important to their individual and collective success.
Strategy 5. Schedule quarterly meetings with business leaders and elected officials to raise awareness of issues and enhance relationships necessary for future collaboration.
Strategy 6. Communicate with community and Chamber businesses the importance of agricultural to Grand Island’s economy.
Tactic: Provide information on number of jobs related to agricultural and livestock industries.
Tactic: Coordinate or participate in initiatives that promote and support the agricultural and livestock industries in order to educate the population as to the economic impact of these industries.
Tactic: Be aware of and advocate against legislative proposals that negatively impact the agricultural or livestock production industries and advocate for proposals that have a positive effect on agricultural businesses.
VII. Grow and Retain Partnerships
Strategy 1. Set sales and retention goals on an annual basis.
Strategy 2. Employ every member of the Chamber staff in retention efforts, including business visits/retention calls, communications, and development of programs and education to meet or exceed partner expectations.
VIII. Active Board
Objective: To develop a strong and engaged Board of Directors who are passionate about the Chamber of Commerce and are committed to sharing this with business partners.
Strategy 1. Act as a catalyst to encourage and foster those individuals who express a desire to provide good leadership.
Strategy 2. Support the Chamber of Commerce organization by:
a. Serve as a major event sponsor;
b. Refer company officials and their businesses to the Chamber of Commerce;
c. Continuously be aware of opportunities for the Chamber of Commerce;
d. Be an advocate and spokesperson for the Chamber
Strategy 3. Attend 25% of Business After Hours.
Strategy 4. Identify a general business topic, Chamber Board priority, or Chamber program important to your business and author an article for publication in the Grand Island Independent.