As I sit down to write this month’s op-ed, I can’t help but reflect back on the year we’ve had. It’s safe to say that 2020 was an unexpected whirlwind of events that kept us all on our toes.
It’s almost upon us - here we are on the cusp on the holiday season and with that comes the surge of shopping for the perfect gift for those on your shopping list. On behalf of the Ames Chamber of Commerce board of directors, my team, and myself, we all urge you to put every shopping dollar you can back into our local business community.
Diversity and Inclusion is essential for our community's growth. Over the past several years this topic has been brought to the forefront of the workforce dialogue. We are pleased that so many businesses and organizations see and understand the need to empower leaders to be as well-equipped as possible to properly embrace diversity, work toward universal equity and continually develop Ames into the Smart Choice to live, work and play.
With the presidential election garnering much of the media and national attention, state and local candidates seeking election or re-election on this year’s ballot are often overshadowed. As we prepare to cast our ballots, I urge you to look critically at all the names, not just the ones at the top, and remember that decisions made by your local officials are the ones that impact your day-to-day life.
2020 has managed to throw yet another curveball our way.
The damage the derecho left was far and wide. No one was exempt from its impact, we saw tangled power lines, hundred-year old trees spilt in two, and lived in darkness for a period of time. But in my observation, that wasn’t where the impact ended.
As we prepare for thousands of Iowa State students to return to Ames, we have an incredible opportunity to show them their impact on our community.
Diversity and inclusion have been a unifying goal in Ames and Story County for several years, but implementing a real cultural shift has become more imperative now than ever before.
Each May the Ames Economic Development Commission (AEDC) celebrates Economic Development Week, commemorating the power of partnerships and highlighting the importance of a coordinated economic development effort in our communities.
As I talk with business owners and community leaders about how they are weathering the effects of this major public health crisis, I grow more and more confident in our ability to surpass this and thrive beyond it.
“What keeps you up at night?” This is the question I ask when conversing with business owners and Chamber members. The number one answer across the entire county is workforce. Our business owners are collectively facing barriers recruiting and retaining employees throughout Story County.