2. Provide achievement recognition program.
3. Continue support of existing workforce development programs.
4. Develop Chamber workforce development plan with Board committee and facilitate initial focus on service and retail businesses.
5. Raise the bar with employers in regards to employee recruitment, namely through the Finish First program.
2. Communicate more openly with membership, in regards to annual program of work and Chamber activities.
3. Develop a membership retention plan.
2. Organize a "Legislative Action" council.
3. Be a source of information and research on political issues and topics.
Employers who agree to "FINISH FIRST" commit to the following:
"FINISH FIRST" is designed after a similar program in St. Joseph, Missouri. It had a 26-percent dropout rate in 1990. Nineteen businesses initially signed-on to their educational-requirement hiring program. By 1999, the coalition of involved businesses grew to more than 170, and the dropout rate fell to 11-percent. During that time, leaders also witnessed a 700-percent increase in their GED preparation classes.
We aspire to achieve similar results in Vermilion County. With corporate support from Illinois Power in the form of a "Bright Ideas" grant, the Chamber and EDC kicked off the program in the fall of 1999. We salute area businesses that are part of our initial group to FINISH FIRST!
The Danville Area Chamber's been involved in developing community-minded business leaders since its inception. In 1986, the Chamber conducted its first "Leadership Danville" program. After fourteen years, the program received a facelift and "Leadership Tomorrow" was born. Although new in scope and length of time, the program still meets its original mission that community leaders created nearly two decades ago: to provide the commun-ity with a continuing resource of men and women who are capable of directing and shaping the future of the community so that it may achieve its potential.
The founders of the leadership program also very clearly set out some well-defined objectives:
To develop quality leadership talents which lead to creative problem solving and future planning by the participants,
To develop in the participant an awareness of the community, its problems, challenges and opportunities, through an educational process,
To assist participants in assuming leadership roles in the community,
To develop and ensure the continuation of a network of community leaders.
"Leadership Tomorrow" also holds true to these objectives. The program opens with a two-day retreat, which stresses team-building and community service. While a servant leadership theme is present throughout the fast-tracked program, local community topics are also stressed. These include: education, business development, technology, history, agriculture, social concerns, government, criminal justice and diversity. The knowledge-based programs are paired with leadership and management training. Topics such as conflict resolution, consensus building, stress management and vision building are among the areas covered.
Class members also make a commitment to the community. They are expected to complete "Leadership Building Activities" during the program. Examples include: attending a city council or county board meeting, shadowing an educator, riding along with a police officer, mentoring a student, or volunteering at a shelter. This is to expose class members - young and old, new and lifetime residents - to the various aspects and needs of the region that cannot be easily covered during a day program.
The class is also responsible for a well-defined and contained class project. Class XV members (fall 2000) dedicated themselves to working on a Habitat for Humanity house. The accelerated program closes with a traditional graduation ceremony.
The Chamber's community leadership program is governed by a diverse steering committee composed of community leaders and leadership alumni. It meets regularly to evaluate the program and discuss fundraising goals as well as outside alumni activities.
A new class generally starts in August of each year. Class applications are available in the spring, with selection interviews taking place early summer and the class announcement made by July.
The Danville Area Chamber's Leadership Tomorrow Program: Growing FOR the community, Growing WITH the community in mind.
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