Local Chambers of Commerce give 2023 update

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(ABC 6 News) – A few weeks into January, many Chambers of Commerce are hard at work to make sure 2023 is smooth sailing for businesses.

One focus for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is to highlight career pathways for future workers. Giving students and potential workers a chance to learn about the different career opportunities in Rochester.

“The idea that can include some different educational pathways,” explained Ryan Parsons, the president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

“For some that can include certification, for some that can include a two-year program. For some [it] includes a four-year or masters. We want to make sure that we can really help highlight those industries and talk about the different ways to get to career paths and career opportunities that can make the most sense for the individual.”

The chamber will soon announce its legislative agenda. Parsons said it includes a focus on infrastructure and economic development.

In Austin, its chamber is focusing on building partnerships. Helping businesses in areas where they need it.

“We do have the ability, let’s say if a business is short-staffed, and that is the key to their success. That’s one area that we can help focus on for them so they can find staffing,” Chaunce Stanton, the marketing and communications director at the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce.

“That’s one area that we can help focus on for them so they can find the staffing they need to get through and thrive through the upcoming economic challenges.”

Other ways the chamber is helping includes promotion and networking.

In Mason City, the new year is bringing new projects and a new president. Colleen Frein is stepping in as president after Robin Anderson retired after 22 years. Last year the Chamber was named Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Frein is hoping to keep the achievements going in the new year.

“We had kind of a banner year last year, right?” said Frein.

“And now I’m at the helm and I want to make sure that we continue in the great work that we’ve been doing.”

That work includes helping businesses reach their fullest potential.

“Our chamber boards focus this year is really on workforce. What can we do to attract people to move to Mason City and greater North Iowa? How can we keep them once they come? What do we need to do to make this a more inclusive community? A place where people feel welcome and want to stay here too.”

In addition, the chamber will look at what types of things businesses can do to attract workers.

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