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. In 2022, they held an informative panel on Hiring Individuals with Developmental Disabilities that included resources to help employers tap into this wide talent pool.
Also in 2022, the DEI Committee along with the Chamber teamed up with the Small Business Center at South Piedmont Community College to host the first Union County Minority Business Makeover Contest. Colette Hagan with Perfect Fit Cleaning Services, LLC won the inaugural contest. She is receiving 50 hours of professional services, consulting, advertising, and promotion.
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.
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.
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.
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 26, 2023