Springfield Chamber #WorkReady named Outstanding Chamber Program at western region conference of chamber executives

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(Wednesday, February 19, 2020) The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce #WorkReady program was presented with the Outstanding Chamber Program award by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) at the Annual Conference held in Portland earlier this month. 

The award recognizes performance by chambers in core competency areas: to strengthen the local economy, to promote the community, to represent business interests with government, to build business relationships, or to involve political action. The Springfield Chamber was one of five Chambers from three states to receive the award*. Dave Kilby, President and CEO of W.A.C.E said the award not only recognizes exemplary programs and “what it means to be a “3C” chamber – a catalyst, convener and champion,” but added that “a key component in our judges’ decision was could and should other chambers follow the lead of these award recipients and replicate them in their chambers.”

Charlie Kimball, Springfield Chamber Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer at Murphy Company, says: “Our local and state economies receive a significant financial benefit from our construction, manufacturing, and technical companies.  These same companies can’t be successful without the continued development of new and motivated employees.  WorkReady is an effective and efficient program that generates real results that provide young workers the skills needed to successfully integrate into our local and regional workforces.”

Since its inception, over 3700 students, and 380 organizations have engaged in #WorkReady programs. The WorkReady initiative brings together regional employers, education partners and local government around a common economic development strategy, one with a focus to build a strong workforce pipeline, bridge education to career pathways, improve graduation rates, and create a strong talent pool prepared for rewarding careers with local employers. 

Avril Watt, General Manager of Johnson Crushers International, Chamber Board Member, and Chair of the Chamber’s Education Committee says: “This award validates the decision by the board of directors and staff a few years ago to strategically focus on cultivating talent by partnering with Springfield School District and the City of Springfield. It energizes our efforts to take WorkReady to the next level.”

*W.A.C.E. 2020 Outstanding Chamber Program Recipients Springfield Area (OR) Chamber- WorkReadyBillings (MT) Chamber – Elections Matter
Grand Junction (CO) Chamber – Workforce Innovation Program
Vail Valley (CO) Partnership – Smart Business Eagle County
Vail Valley (CO) Partnership- CareerWise Youth Apprenticeship

About W.A.C.E. The Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) is the premier organization for education and professional development for chamber executives and staff. W.A.C.E. now represents over 850 chamber professionals in 19 Western states and Canada. Website: www.waceonline.com

About the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is a 501 (c) 6 non-profit association comprised of private, public, and non-profit organizations in the Springfield, Eugene, and surrounding communities. The Chamber offers programs and services to strengthen, represent, and promote business throughout the region. For more information about the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, visit www.springfield-chamber.org

About the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce WorkReady Initiative

#WorkReady is designed to bring the business, education and local government communities together to connect classroom instruction to the workplace and better prepare students for careers in high wage, high demand jobs. The core #WorkReady programs are Middle School Career Day, Career Exploration at Lane Community College, High School Career Connect, and the #WorkReady Career and Technical Education Fund. For more information on #WorkReady, contact Paige Sharpe, Paige@Springfield-Chamber.org or visit www.springfield-chamber.org/workready

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