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Giving voice to business issues

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Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 9:45:00 am

Giving voice to business issues

Making sure the interests of the business community are heard by our elected officials isn’t always easy. Business owners, entrepreneurs and executives often don’t make the best lobbying force. It’s hard to make time to go to Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg – and sometimes even to pick up the phone or write a note.

It often falls to the Chamber staff and a dedicated group of volunteers who make up our Government Affairs Committee to seek opinions of members and present them to lawmakers.

Yet, a recent survey of our members shows they are tuned into the debate over finding additional dollars to fund transportation – a top Chamber priority in 2013. They support continued investment in education and health care, which are key strengths of our region. They back liquor store privatization but think the state should retain the operations of state parks. They care about water quality, alternative energy and the quality of our region’s work force.

That final point was particularly interesting in that I represented the Economy League last week when I addressed a Regional Talent Summit in Saint Louis. Our Chamber is planning its own talent and education summit in June. The number of college degrees in a region is a key determinant of its per capita income. Better connecting employers with higher education institutions will help retain graduates who can help our companies grow.

Many of these issues came up at our May 3 event at Villanova University with Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph. We want to thank Crozer-Keystone Health System and USI Affinity for sponsoring the event, along with those who attended.

As the Chamber continues to make sure our members’ views are heard, our membership survey results indicate we’re hitting the right chords.

To read the full May issue, click here.

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