Air Service. The Air Service Task Force has morphed into a stand-alone 501c6, the Grand Junction Regional Air Service Alliance. The change allows the entity to fundraise in order to supply revenue guarantees for new service if needed. It also establishes a board of directors but does allow for an unlimited number of ex-officio members including elected officials. A subsequent meeting of the organizations that provided in-kind marketing assistance for the American Airlines direct to LAX flight that begins June 3rd. The Chamber has committed $5,000 of in kind marketing assistance for this effort.
Emerging Workforce. The Committee brainstormed a way to put all of the various programs (YEA!, Hire Me First, CareerWise, KickStart, etc.) under one umbrella program name so that it would be less confusing for businesses and students. Out of 20 or so possible names, students in a WCCC marketing class selected Career Link. Updates were provided on CareerWise (over 20 businesses and 30 or so apprenticeships in process), YEA! will have nine students making pitches to the Investor Panel on April 4th, Hire Me First students will be doing the WorkKeys assessments after spring break. Mesa County has achieved ACT Workforce Ready Community status, the first county in Colorado to receive this recognition.
Governmental Affairs. So far, this legislative session, the committee has taken positions on 20 bills. A new transportation funding bill has been introduced, HB-1242, which would ask voters this fall to approve a sales tax increase for road projects and we expect it to be modified and discussed at length. The budget, known as the long bill will be introduced sometime soon and we are now halfway through the session with 342 bills still active. The Legislative Wrap Up, sponsored by Home Loan Insurance and Nationwide will be held on May 23rd, 7:30 AM at the Clarion Inn.
Energy. The next Energy Briefing, April 12th will feature an update on the whitepaper, Piceance to the Pacific Rim, authored by John Harpole, Mercator Energy. John will offer insights into current and future activity along with markets for natural gas produced in Western Colorado. The Energy Committee will meet in May and plan future energy briefings in late summer/early fall.
Diplomats. Diplomats have been busy assisting with the personal delivery of 2017 membership materials which wrapped up last month. They have also seen a pick-up in ribbon cuttings, which is a good sign for the overall economy. If you have been in business less than one year or expanded, please reach out to us for a ribbon cutting.
Local Economic Development. As noted at the board meeting the major focus of the LED committee was a discussion about the vendors fee cap. The Foreign Trade Zone effort is moving slowly as we and the airport evaluate the feasibility of utilizing the partially finished structure at the airport for a customs office which is our first step. On an encouraging note, we have had interest in participating expressed by the town of Parachute and the Rifle Chamber.
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce April 2017 Newsletter.