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Our Opinion: Chamber focuses on outreach for coming year

Outreach is a common theme linking the four focus areas established as 2014 priorities by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Goals for the four priorities — talent, growth, place, membership — feature these words: attract, recruit, cultivate, stimulate, enhance and create.

The ambitious agenda for the new year was devised by chamber board members during a recent retreat and outlined in the Chamber Today included in Monday’s News Tribune.

We believe it is a forward-thinking program of action that is responsive to the chamber’s membership, the community and our role as state capital.

Here’s a capsule summary of the initiatives:

• Talent: In response to national trends suggesting demand for workers may exceed the supply, a goal is “recruiting talented people as well as cultivating a talent pool” represented by diverse groups.

• Growth: Recognizing economic strategy no longer can be developed solely around manufacturing, the focus will shift to “what we mean by a primary job, how we measure economic impact, and how we design incentives.”

• Membership: With an emphasis on the value members bring to the organization, a goal is to “create opportunities for Chamber members to maximize their return on investments in membership.”

• Place: Following up on outgoing Chairman Joe Scheppers farewell column emphasizing our community’s role as Missouri’s capital city, the focus will be on “our community in the area of public affairs with local, state and federal government interaction.”

The unifying thread is outreach.

Instead of looking inward, Chamber leaders and volunteers will emphasize how to help members, area businesses, our community and our state.

That’s a program that deserves unqualified support.

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