Chamberwise: Springing Forward!

These months of spring bring much activity at the North Country Chamber, furthering our ambitious set of priorities for 2019.

On the Transportation Equipment and Aerospace front, we have secured new tenants in the facilities at Plattsburgh International Airport, including a Quebec energy technology manufacturer in one of the former Air Force buildings rehabilitated as part of the $38 million from the Governor last year. And our marketing and outreach continues, including continuing work on a significant prospect, passing a first hurdle among competing communities. This largely unseen activity is actually quite constant.

Our new cluster initiative, NAmTrans (North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment) is progressing strongly, thanks to support funding secured by Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Billy Jones. A website is under development, as are social media platforms and a regular e-newsletter among the 54 companies. And on May 31st, we will host a first Quebec-New York Aerospace/Transportation Equipment Rendezvous, bringing together companies and key organizations from both New York and Quebec in Plattsburgh for B2B opportunities, conference programming and a tour of Norsk Titanium.

In May, we will conduct another of our targeted group visits to Washington, centered on needed Congressional approval of USMCA, the needs of North Country manufacturers and some other regional issues and projects. We will also be in Ottawa for high level interaction with Canadian ministers and leaders on shared priorities.

Workforce development efforts will include continued support for the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College, a focused look at the specific workforce needs of employers in the Champlain/Rouses Point area, participation in the Regional Workforce Development Board’s upcoming Strategic Retreat on May third, and our Annual Spring Job Fair set for May 29th.

Our North Country advocacy on the state level will also continue, including assisting with Adirondack Day in Albany on May 13th, chairing the Business and Economic Development part of the day’s displays and activities, while also continuing to work with our upstate chamber partners on remaining issues through the end of the 2019 State legislative session.

Across our five county region, we will be doing a number of small business workshops with our Partner Community Chambers as well as SCORE, AEDC and SBDC. And I will personally be getting around at least once to every one of our thirteen community Chamber partners from Speculator and Chestertown to Malone and Akwesasne.

Our Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau will be in high stress mode, carrying out an aggressive marketing plan ahead of summer and also preparing for another season of Lake Champlain bass tournaments.

And we’ll be ramping up for what is always the business event of the Year: Business Expo on June 6th, with booth reservations now actively underway.

Just a snapshot. Hope all of you will take advantage of at least one of these endeavors and activities and hopefully several.