Chamber Internship Program
Steve Smith is leading the group toward the creation of a system which will be presented to the Chamber Board and will be available to Chamber members. The system will consist of a database where businesses can post internship opportunities including their requirements and these can be matched by area schools who post the credentials of students seeking these opportunities. The Chamber acts as the gatekeeper and will provide access to those businesses who are members. This initiative will provide value to Chamber members and to local students by creating greater connections within the community through the alignment of theory and practice. The working group has finalized their initial documents and are moving forward with conversations within the Chamber to understand next steps.
David Randle updated the task force on the recent alignment by Mayor Rick Kriesman to the group’s efforts for the city to gain the United Nations World Trade Organization’s designation of a Sustainable Tourism Observatory. Initial efforts to acquire this designation are being pursued and include the clean marina and clean port initiatives, sustainable fishing areas, and the use of biogas generators which are being installed within some businesses around the city. Additionally, through the group’s alignment with the Mayor’s office greater opportunity for connection between the City and the Chamber are becoming available as the Mayor has requested assistance in efforts to increase diplomatic connections with Cuba.
Robert Bruno provided an update on the current status of the two solar amendments that were before the Florida Legislature. The measure “Consumers for Smart Solar” is currently before the Florida Supreme Court for review to ensure the language presented is appropriate for an amendment to the constitution. This process will conclude on May 5th. The second measure “Floridians for Solar Choice” was able to pass review by the Supreme Court, however it did not gain the necessary petitions required for it to be listed on the November Ballot as such it is no longer available for consideration.
Chamber Sustainability Strategy
To move the Chamber Sustainability Plan forward Janet Hall will be speaking with the Chamber’s CFO on Monday to establish a baseline understanding of how to operationalize sustainability within the organization while gaining a deeper knowledge of impacted stakeholders. Once this baseline is established and efforts are taken within the Chamber the streamlined “plan” will be made available to Chamber Members who are seeking to integrate sustainability within their operations.
Following the working group updates, Sharon Joy Kleitsch gave a short presentation on the impact and opportunity that Sea Level Rise will have on the economic longevity of our community. She began by sharing an article written by Robert Trigaux in 2014 titled “Climate Change Threatens Economy.” This got her thinking about economic trends surrounding the topic which led her to establish networked connections between people, resources, and ideas. One area where she sees individuals from the chamber having the greatest impact would be through their active participation in conversations regarding changes to our climate and how these changes will shape the future of our community. This is a critically important topic when considering significant infrastructure investments like the Pier Park. To contribute to developing conversations a workshop is being held on Wednesday March 30th from 3 to 5pm at the SPC Epicenter, 13805 58th St N, Clearwater, FL 33760. To attend or for more information please contact Sharon Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org.