Chamber drafts strategic plan

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Dayton —

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has drafted a new strategic plan that reflects chamber members’ most recent hopes and goals.

A new plan is drafted every three years. The plan for 2014-2016 expresses concern about how the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect business and hiring.

The plan also newly endorses the “Learn to Earn Dayton” initiative that addresses a shortage of skilled workers. Learn to Earn promotes youth-to-adulthood education, with an eye on necessary job skills.

In addition, the plan emphasizes infrastructure improvement. Phil Parker, chamber president and chief executive, said continued work on Interstates 75 and 70, as well as U.S. 35 and other key roads, will help the region continue to land big logistics employers such as CAT Logistics in Clayton the Prologis client in Union.

Among the new chamber goals: Work with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission to secure $105 billion in federal highway funding for Dayton and Ohio, and secure $750,000 for Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District projects.

“The importance of logistics in the Miami Valley is a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Eric Cluxton, chair of the chamber’s strategic plan committee.

The chamber has heard from members who are concerned about federal health reform costs, Cluxton said. “We have to find a way to offset those costs.”

Since hearing leaders of the then-General Motors assembly plant in Moraine complain in 2001 that I-75 downtown is a “choke point” for its truck drivers, Parker said he has made infrastructure a chamber priority.

Since then, the chamber has worked to place volunteers and staffers in positions of influence among Columbus decision-makers. Parker pointed to chamber alumni such as Jon Husted, Bryan Bucklew and current chamber officer Chris Kershner, who all served or serve with the Ohio TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council), the body that makes key highway project funding decisions.

The private chamber has about 2,800 members, down from about 3,000 before the Great Recession. Revenue is up about 2 percent compared to 2012. No dramatic jump in expenses or revenue is expected in 2014.

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©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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