While David Fair, city president of Regions Bank, presided over a banner year for economic development, incoming president Barbara Baxter, vice president for commercial lending of FSG Bank, reminded the general membership of the work that lies ahead in 2011.
Baxter said this will be a year of construction and working with the Cleveland/Bradley Industrial Development Board and local government to ensure the economic announcements continue smoothly.
The Chamber will continue supporting BCC 2035, the long-range planning study to ensure Cleveland and Bradley County are prepared for growth instead of playing catch-up. The study was initiated to study the positive and negative aspects of the expected growth.
They outlined the strategic importance of a new industrial park in the area of Exit 20 along Interstate 75 and work on the interchange on APD 40 between I-75 and South Lee Highway.
While economic development prepares for the future, the Convention and Visitors Bureau is preparing for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by documenting significant sites in Bradley County.
The Chamber will also continue its “BuyIt Bradley” campaign to promote local retailers and encourage people to buy local.
This year, she said, the local Chamber will work toward certification from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the 30th year and finally, the local organization will continue working on economic development.
Other programs of the Chamber of Commerce include the $1.3 million Compass Campaign, Allied Arts and work force development programs such as the Teachers Academy that places educators in the work place during summer breaks.
Also, 186 seniors graduated as Tennessee Scholars from city and county schools.
The BEST Program, Businesses and Education Serving Together, is a workforce development initiative of the Chamber designed to bring together a business and a school for their mutual benefits.