2023 1st Quarter Update
We started 2023 off strong with additions to the Legislative Agenda, revitalized programs, and updates to Chamber committees. YOUR Chamber is gearing up for a full year of championing business growth and prosperity throughout Union County.
Read on to see your membership at work.
PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM UPDATE
Chamber Board Approves 2023 Legislative Agenda
YOUR Union County Chamber released the 2023 Legislative Agenda at a Public Policy Breakfast in February.
Following meetings with local legislators, stakeholders, and community members, the committee added some new details to the Agenda.
Given the continuous trend of growth in the county and its municipalities, the committee added the following language in the Infrastructure section:
“The Chamber supports efforts at the State, County, and municipal levels to:
- » implement the planning and funding mechanisms for increasing wastewater treatment capacity and
- » immediately begin the process of adding wastewater capacity while implementing a method of allocation that prioritizes industrial and commercial development.
Recognizing the importance of agriculture in Union County, the Chamber encourages the growth of agricultural-related industry including investment in the infrastructure needed to support agri-business.
The Chamber encourages the continued revitalization of downtown Monroe, the county seat, through improved policies, incentives, and regulatory improvements. In addition, the Chamber supports efforts by all municipalities in Union County to renew and maintain vibrant downtowns and commercial districts.”
As a growing number of professionals face childcare challenges, the following language was added to the Workforce section:
“The Chamber supports policies that remove barriers to work including efforts to make childcare more accessible and affordable for parents who wish to work.”
At the Public Policy Breakfast, attendees held roundtable discussions on the pillars of the Legislative Agenda. Each table included a state or county elected official to listen to input from attendees.
Public Policy Recap
February was a busy month for the Public Policy Program. Public Policy Consultant Brian Francis facilitated a discussion between Chamber executives from across the region. Union County Chamber President and CEO Pat Kahle joined leaders from The Cabarrus Chamber and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, among others to discuss ways our organizations can cooperate to advocate for business-friendly public policy. The group was able to identify seven areas of mutual concern and discussed strategies on working together.
February Public Policy events also included our annual Elected Officials Reception. Over 120 people gathered at the Union County Agricultural Center for the event. State, county and local Elected Officials had the opportunity to connect with the attendees.
CHAMBER COMMITTEE UPDATES
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee’s March meeting included several updates. Committee members decided to update the name of the program from Diversity and Inclusion to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Members discussed the work the committee is doing to focus on diversity and including all, but wanted to also make sure to recognize that everyone does not start at the same place.
This committee also welcomed several new members in March, and finalized plans for the “Grow Your Revenue with Government Contracts” series starting April 4th. The series will help minority-owned business leaders learn the ins and outs of government contracting. We are excited to offer this series in partnership with the Small Business Center at South Piedmont Community College.
Workforce Development Committee
The Workforce Development Committee has been hard at work preparing for the spring Speaker’s Bureau sessions.
In April, representatives from local companies take over classes at Union County Public Schools to share information about careers in trades and manufacturing fields. The presenters receive training through the Workforce Development Committee.
EMERGING LEADERS PROGRAM
2023 Program Kicks Off
The Emerging Leaders Program kicked off in January with a luncheon focused on Building Authentic Relationships.
The Union County Chamber Emerging Leaders Program equips future influential decision-makers in Union County with comprehensive professional and personal skills, engaged civic knowledge, and active community service.
Robyn Barriffe, Senior Director of Nursing at Novant Health shared at the January session about Building Authentic Relationships, followed by Jessica Graham, President of Fionix Consulting in March. Jessica helped members begin the process of Building a Trustworthy Personal Brand.
Greg Crawford, with First National Bank has attended both sessions. “The Chamber puts together a great Emerging Leader program and area members should take advantage of this great resource for growing their business while helping their personal needs as a person. You will meet great people in our community who want to make a difference.”
Jesse Granger with Council on Aging of Union County agrees, and added, ” This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other change-makers in the Union County area!”
Attendees at the luncheons have also collected donation items for the Council on Aging in Union County and the Community Shelter of Union County.
2023 Leadership Union Class
The 2023 Leadership Union Class kicked off the year with a retreat at the Chamber office. We had more applicants than ever before this year and were able to accept 31 people into the program. Members got to know one another and learned about themselves through a DiSC assessment facilitated by Jeanne Pritt with People Outcomes.
Following the retreat, class members have attended sessions learning about the overall administration of Union County and the nonprofits that serve the community.
Here are some comments class members have shared about the program this year.
“I have enjoyed both sessions to date. The robust conversation amongst the group and information presented has been great.” – Dr. Brandy Clemmer, Wingate University
“This was a very enlightening/informative session. I learned a lot about Union County management and our judicial system. I also learned more about our DSS system and the challenges that they face on a daily basis.” – Sally Duncan, Goulston Technologies
“Excellent lineup of speakers! I learned lots about local government and how complex balancing board, constituent, and operational expectations/needs can be. Great job putting this day together!” – Chris Rivera, South Piedmont Community College
“I enjoyed learning about all that UDI has to offer. What a valuable resource to our community. Of course, I loved the PUPPIES at Project 2 Heal.”- Gypsy Houston, Union County