What Does a Chamber Do: Impact

August 23, 2022

Group of professionals in front of Historic Union County Courthouse

As we’ve reported in previous blogs, people join the Chamber for a variety of reasons, including making connections, increasing visibility, and expanding their influence.  For many organizations, they are looking to partner with the Chamber to make an impact on the community. 

In the final part in our series on what a Chamber does, we will dive into how we can help your organization have a greater impact on Union County.

YOUR Chamber investment allows us to continue the important work of championing business growth and business prosperity throughout Union County. Below are some of the programs made possible through our partnership with Chamber members.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Program

The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Program exists to bring awareness of diversity and inclusion by empowering our members and community at large. The Committee has 4 work areas:

1. Increase awareness of diversity among current members

2. Increase the number of minority-owned businesses in the chamber’s membership

3. Increase the number of minority-owned business startups

4. Increase workforce development opportunities for under-resourced populations.

We have been hard at work on these goals. Since forming in 2020, the DEI Committee has hosted virtual panel discussions ranging from Unconscious Bias to Legal and Tax Information for Small Businesses, and Hiring Individuals with Developmental Disabilities that included resources to help employers tap into this wide talent pool.

In 2023, the DEI Committee partners with the Small Business Center at South Piedmont Community College to offer an eight-week training to help business owners grow their revenue with Government Contracting. The series was geared towards minority- and women-owned businesses, and provided information on the basics of government contracting, how to write winning proposals, understanding certifications, and how to prepare the business for doing business with government. The dual goal was to provide information to assist those small businesses in growing their revenue while also keeping local tax dollars in our community.

Other efforts in the past included the Union County Minority Business Makeover Contest and annual surveys to understand the challenges and issues facing businesses in our community. 

Attendees at a DEI event

Make It in Union County

Chamber members are making a big impact on the future workforce through Make It In Union County. This is our annual celebration of manufacturing, held the first week in October. The goal is to introduce middle and high school students to the incredible career opportunities in manufacturing, right here in Union County. The week includes visits to local manufacturers by UCPS students, speakers who go to UCPS schools, along with a Manufacturing Showcase.  Make It In Union County has also given out STEM grants to UCPS schools as part of the week.Engineer with green flame in front of high school students

The program helps students make direct contacts with local manufacturers and allows them to consider pursuing an educational path to employment. Each year, hundreds of students attend at least one aspect of the week.

Leadership Union

YOUR Chamber works to develop and foster leaders in Union County through the Leadership Union Program. Each Chamber members who are selected through an application process have the opportunity to meet community and civic leaders and explore key issues impacting our region. 

Class members spend one day a month for 10 months focused on topics like education, health care, nonprofits, roads and infrastructure, agriculture, and more. They learn about the community’s strengths and opportunities and discover ways to create community stewardship.

Applications open in the fall for the following year.

Children and adults outside painting pumpkins

Serving on Nonprofit Boards

Chamber members impact nonprofits in a variety of ways. The Emerging Leaders of Union County schedules regular volunteer events to support nonprofits throughout the year. YOUR Chamber also hosts an annual nonprofit workshop for Chamber member nonprofits aimed at strengthening their messaging, outreach, and fundraising goals.

The final way we impact our community is through service on Nonprofit Boards.  Through training on How to Be A Good Board Member, we have helped introduce Chamber members to the idea of serving on a Board. YOUR Chamber has also been instrumental in matching Chamber members with Boards looking to fill vacancies.

The ROI of the money you invest in YOUR Union County Chamber is so much greater than you can imagine. Its impact reaches well beyond your business, into the entire county, and event to future generations.

Last modified: June 11, 2024

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