What a year 2016 will be. On the national scene, no matter which party gathers the most votes, we will elect a new President. What the change in the administration will mean to businesses is yet to be seen. But, we all know that during 2016 it will be critical for all Chamber members to stay engaged and make sure that their voices are heard in the public arena.
Here in the Greater Susquehanna Valley, it will be an exciting year for job creation and economic development. Three big projects that we’ve prepared for years and even decades will finally be under construction. Your Chamber of Commerce has “driven the bus” when it comes to the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway for more than 40 years.
Last year, UGI Energy asked the Chamber to assist with getting the Sunbury Pipeline built. And, we responded. Now this energy-providing, job-creating pipeline is on its way.
As the Sunbury Generation plant in Shamokin Dam makes its transition from coal-burning to clean, locally produced natural gas, your Chamber is staying fully engaged. The Sunbury Pipeline will bring the energy to this plant. The plant, in turn will produce enough electricity to power most of the Middle Atlantic and New England grid.
It may be the job generation of these three projects that’s most impressive. Together up to as many as 3,000 jobs will stem from this construction. While half of these jobs will be directly in the construction field, the other half will be in support of the front line construction crews. People will be needed to staff hotels and restaurants, additional medical professionals will be called upon to keep everyone healthy and many, many administrative folks will be necessary to keep these projects humming along.
Yes, 2016 will be an exciting year for the entire Greater Susquehanna Valley. But job creation and economic development certainly is not all that your Chamber does. We’re involved with education, with leadership development, with agriculture and tourism and most importantly with making sure that every Chamber member gets top value for their membership investment.
The sheer task of caring for over 800 members who in turn represent more than 52,000 employees is challenging. However, your Chamber leaders and staff are up to this task. In fact, we embrace it robustly.
Here are just a couple of things to look for from your Chamber of Commerce in 2016:
- A newly re-constituted and hard-charging Greater Susquehanna Valley Young Professionals organization.
- An ever-growing partnership to market our entire region through our Main Street Communities which make up the Chamber’s Downtown Affiliates Program.
- Expanded high-speed Internet and Broadband coverage to include all of our valley’s communities and areas of potential economic opportunity.
- The creation of a large group of Leadership Susquehanna Valley graduates who are ready, willing and able to lead us all into the future.
- A monthly celebration of our goodly agricultural heritage and bounty through our Farm-to-Fork/Farm-to-Glass dinner series.
President & CEO