YOUR Chamber shared successes from 2024 at the annual State of the Chamber luncheon in January of 2024.
This blog, focused on the efforts of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, is part 4 in a 5-part series.
About the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee
The DEI Committee consists of volunteers who are committed to this important work. These volunteer leaders work with the Chamber staff and community partners to provide programming to meet the needs of our community.
Most events are offered in a virtual format and open to everyone without cost. This is done intentionally so that more people within our community can have access to the information without transportation or financial barriers. We have partnered with other organizations, like the Small Business Center at South Piedmont Community College and Catapult Employers Association, to provide meaningful information our community can put into action.
The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee’s mission is to bring awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion by empowering our members and the community at large. To accomplish this mission, the committee adopted four work areas:
Increase awareness of diversity among members – Studies have shown the most successful businesses are those with diversity in the board rooms, management teams and within their workforce. Diversity not only of race and ethnicity, but of experience, background, thought, and abilities. It is also imperative in an increasingly diverse world, to be successful, businesses must expand their customer base and workforce.
Increase the diversity within the Chamber’s membership – The Chamber leadership believes the Chamber’s membership should reflect the diversity of our community. So it is important our Chamber continuously focus on providing a welcoming, inclusive environment to engage all within our community.
Increase the number of under-resourced business startups – One of the best ways to build wealth is to create a successful business. For our community to thrive, access to start new businesses cannot and should not be limited. The Chamber provides support and training to potential entrepreneurs throughout our community.
Increase workforce development opportunities – For our community to truly be successful, everyone in our community who is able should have the opportunity to participate in our thriving economy. Training, support, and access is imperative to connect potential workers with career opportunities in good-paying, high-demand fields.
One of the highlights of 2023 for the DEI Committee was an eight-week series called “Growing Your Revenue With Government Contracts”. The Chamber partnered with South Piedmont Community College’s Small Business Center to bring experts in various topics related to government contracting. Topics like preparing a business to handle contracts, basics of government contracting, types of certifications and how to obtain them, how to market to government, how to submit proposals and win contracts, and much more. The ultimate goal of this series was to increase the number of Union County businesses eligible to win government contracts and to keep tax dollars here in our community. The series was free and open to all. We appreciate Atrium Health Union for providing the meeting space and for their sponsorship of the series. We also appreciate Duke Energy for being the 2023 DEI Program Sponsor.
We also hosted two virtual events last year. One featured a discussion on how to create an inclusive culture in the workplace. This event was geared towards small and medium-sized businesses. The other was a discussion on neurodiversity in the workplace. This discussion provided information on how to hire and retain individuals who may experience some form of neurodivergence. Past events have included discussions about hiring individuals with developmental disabilities, and legal and tax information for small businesses. As you can see, the DEI Committee has hosted conversations about a wide variety of topics.
Last modified: February 9, 2024