Advocating for a better regulatory and business environment for our region is the cornerstone of the Chamber's work. Both the Chamber's Government Relations Committee and the Chamber's Political Action Committee (PAC) worked diligently in 2018 to provide even greater value and results for our members in an election year.
Convening and partnering with our elected officials and other area leaders differentiates us from other membership organizations. Our work with these influencers has also helped us in our other goals, including building a more inclusive workforce. Those efforts are critical as we compete for the talented workers we need to advance our companies, organizations and community to the next level.
Through these efforts, our board, members, affiliates, partners and staff worked collectively to produce positive and tangible results for our members this year, including this partial list of positive outcomes below:
- Worked with state and local government to accomplish 17 legislative pro-business wins and 6 partial wins
- Endorsed 30 business-focused candidates in the 2018 election process
- Created an Advanced Manufacturing Task Force that secured $5 million in additional funding for the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and helped restore $5 million in funding for the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT)
- Secured full funding for the state's Excel in Career Technical Education(CTE) initiative
- Invested in Project Wichita and facilitated 9 focus groups with 274 participants
- Initiated the Wichita Connect website and mobile app to improve employee recruitment
- Activated small-business engagement in inclusion, policy, talent and quality of place activities
- Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion work with an award from the Wichita Business Journal
- Connected 42 young professionals with 14 community leader mentors
- Initiated the Mission Wichita program to connect young professionals with high-achieving airmen from McConnell Air Force Base
- Recognized by analyst James Chung for the Wichita flag and #ILoveWichita movement in improving local perception issues
Driving economic growth and community advancement in our region requires exceptional teamwork, and 2018 has yielded the positive results of working closely with our partners, elected officials and other Chambers in the region. These dedicated leaders have also been expanding their networks to be more inclusive so that our work includes more diversity in our approach to successfully competing in a global marketplace.
Click here to see the 2018 Annual Summary (pictured below).