Chamber Work Plan - 2012
Economic Development – Through Building on Success, an initiative to sustain and accelerate community and economic development in Hutchinson and Reno County, the Chamber reaffirms its commitment to economic vitality asthe top priority for 2012. The Chamber will continue to focus on primary initiatives including new business attractions, existing business support, workforce enhancement, and community vibrancy as part of the Building On Success campaign. There is general agreement that the community has built economic development momentum and must capitalize on that in the years immediately ahead.
The Chamber will continue to work with employers and other partners to develop strategies for improving worker skills and ethics and to bring more potential employees into the community.
The Chamber will work with the City and County to ensure that adequate “shovel ready” land is available for industrial growth.
The Chamber will work for the coordination of efforts of all Reno County community and economic development entities for greater effectiveness.
Vibrant Downtown - The Chamber joins the Hutchinson City Council and the Downtown Hutchinson Revitalization Partnership, Inc. in supporting downtown Hutchinson as the traditional "Main Street" of the region and will help in efforts to develop its shopping, cultural, entertainment and residential areas.
Retail Revitalization—The Chamber believes Hutchinson must strengthen its traditional role as a regional shopping destination.The Chamber will establish a retail work group and join with available partners to restore Hutchinson’s retail prominence.
Health Care - The Chamber understands the vital importance of the health care community and will continue to support and assist in the expansion of quality healthcare in Hutchinson and Reno County and the South Central Kansas region.
Quality Housing–The Chamber willencourage the public and private sector to make available quality, income-appropriate housing in Hutchinson and Reno County and utilize the City of Hutchinson’s 2009 Housing NeedsAssessment Study to help guide plans. The Chamber will encourage the development and enforcement of reasonable housing standards.
Leadership Development – The vitality of the community depends upon quality leadership. The Chamber will continue to sponsor both adult and youth Leadership Reno County programs to develop and encourage leaders who will be willing and able to successfully guide community organizations and activities. In addition, the Chamber will support and assist the Young Professionals of Reno County Organization in their efforts to attract, retain and involve young professionals in the community.
Marketing - The Chamber and its partners — the City, the County, CVB, and Market Hutchinson annually invest in programs to showcase Hutchinson and Reno County through a variety of venues that market our area on a national and regional basis. In 2012, the Chamber will also work on a plan to better market itself to the community.
Quality Education System- A successful education system is essential and can be the deciding factor in favorably differentiating our community from competing communities. The Chamber actively supports Reno County schools, the Career and Technical Education Academy, Hutchinson Community College, and the Workforce Development Center.
Community Development -The Chamber will work to enhance Hutchinson/Reno County’s vibrancy using the following guidelines under the Community Development Division: Helping bring qualified workers and other residents to the community, implementing community vitality and activity programs, promoting workplace wellness/active living initiatives, and providing outreach and assistance for the Young Professionals of Reno County.
CHAMBER ORGANIZATION and MEMBERSHIP RELATIONS
Communication– The Chamber is committed to communicating effectively with its membership and the community at large. The Chamber will seek new avenues to inform members and the public about business developments, programs and services and will continue to communicate via the Chamber & CVB websites and use mass media effectively.
Programs and Events– The Chamber will provide high-value networking events; sponsorship and advertising opportunities; forums for the exchange of ideas; and educational programs that will enhance members’ business contacts and success.The Chamber will collaborate with the Young Professionals to increase their attendance at events.
Marketing - Each year, attractions, events and conventions bring approximately 1.5 million visitors to Reno County, generating millions of dollars of economic impact annually. Under the auspices of the Greater Hutchinson Convention/Visitors Bureau (CVB), the CVB and Chamber will collaborate with local attractions and events to market the community aggressively including efforts to inform the public of the importance of buying locally.
Events—The CVB will actively participate in marketing the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, the Kansas Cosmo-sphere and Space Center and other key attractions in the community in an effort to attract events and visitors. The CVB will also aggressively market the community’s world-class sports venues, the convention center and the Kansas State Fairgrounds to establish Hutchinson as a regional and national convention, tournament and event site. Additionally the CVB will work with new sports organizations to replace some of the USSSA World Series tournaments that will encourage multi-night hotel stays.
The Chamber is the community’s business advocate and serves as the strong voice of Reno County businesses at local, state and federal government levels.The Chamber, along with the Legislative Affairs Committee, will monitor governmental activity, and advocate for initiatives vital to a prosperous business climate. This will include the following:
Transportation –The Chamber will work with Barton, Rice and Harvey Counties to support highway projects identified as “Top Tier” in KDOT public “local consults” meetings.The Chamber will coordinate efforts to promote construction for the K-96 diagonal northwest to beyond Sterling and the Highway 50 – Airport Road intersection improvement, and work to retain funding for this project.
Streamlining Local Government – The Chamber will work with the Kansas Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations and other interested Chambers to advocate the passage of “Gateway Legislation” that will remove the impediments to voluntary local efforts to streamline local forms of governance.It will support local efforts to streamline or unify essential governmental tasks.