North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Selected for Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

 Christopher McDermott selected for prestigious national program which connects chambers with opportunities to engage on critical education and workforce issues

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is one of 35 state and local chambers chosen to take part in a national program aimed at addressing critical education and workforce issues. Sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips participants with resources, national expertise and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.  

“Businesses in North Central Massachusetts are struggling with the same challenges their peers are throughout the country.” says Christopher McDermott, Public Affairs Manager of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber, who is participating in the third cohort of the program on behalf of North Central Massachusetts. “Recruiting, training and retaining qualified and skilled workers has grown increasingly difficult in recent years. This is a great opportunity for the Chamber to actively contribute to the national conversation while learning best practices from our counterparts in other states that can help us make an impact locally.”

“We created the Business Leads Fellowship Program in response to the needs of our state and local chamber partners,” says Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce. “They, better than anyone, see the critical link between education and economic development, and we are glad to be able to support them as they take on this critical leadership role in their community.”

The 35 chamber professionals included in the third cohort of Business Leads Fellowship were chosen through a competitive selection process. The four-month fellowship, which concludes in September, 2019, will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education and workforce development.

The objectives of the program align with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber’s efforts around improving the workforce, which are most recently exemplified by the publication of its recent report Build North Central: Improving the Industrial Heart of Massachusetts.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives. 

2nd Annual North Central Massachusetts Real Estate Summit

 


The 2nd Annual North Central Massachusetts Real Estate Summit is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Way, Fitchburg, MA.  The Real Estate Summit is a collaboration between the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Association of Realtors. The program aims to provide a in-depth look at the real estate market in North Central Massachusetts.  Principal sponsor for the breakfast is Total Mortgage.  Escrow sponsors include the Law Office of David R. Rocheford and   Fidelity Bank.  Special thanks to The Foster Company for providing a supporting sponsorship. 

This year’s program features guest speakers Allan Foster, President of The Foster Company, who will provide an overview and insight into the region’s commercial and industrial market; Gary Bourque, President of Central Mass Appraisals who will provide insight into the residential real estate market; and Kurt Thompson, President-Elect of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, who will review legislative issues that impact the real estate industry. 

Allan Foster is President of the The Foster Company, which specializes in real estate appraisal and consulting.  He builds on a foundation of being raised as the third generation in a real estate and insurance business. He joined the company full time in 1980 and brings a full perspective of property ownership, permitting, development, finance, appraisal, brokerage, management, insurance, and entrepreneurial skills. Communication skills have been honed through years of marketing, negotiating, management, and public speaking. .

Gary Bourque is a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser and President of Central Mass Appraisals, Inc., a real estate appraisal company specializing in residential valuation since 1986.  He is also President of Bourque Realty, Inc., a real estate sales firm located in Leominster 30 years and a real estate instructor in multiple states. Gary currently serves as the Chair of the Professional Standards Committee of the North Central Massachusetts Association of Realtors having served as Treasurer and a member the Finance and Education Committees over the years. Gary has been a certified instructor for over 20 years teaching real estate and real estate appraisal qualifying and continuing education classes throughout New England for multiple State Realtor Associations, Boards and private educational companies.

As president-elect of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors Kurt Thompson will participate at all levels of the association’s decision-making process, represent the association at meetings and business functions, and serve as a spokesperson for the association on real estate industry-related matters.  Mr. Thompson will continue to serve as a member of the MAR executive committee and board of directors as a result of this election. Prior to his election, Mr. Thompson served as the 2018 MAR treasurer and the 2017 MAR professional development vice president, and other MAR positions over the years. On the local
level, Mr. Thompson was the 2011 President of the North Central Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

The Second Annual Real Estate Summit is a great opportunity to connect with real estate professionals and gain insight into the current and future real estate market in North Central Massachusetts. This event is of interest to anyone involved in real estate, including developers, residential and commercial realtors, lenders, property owners and professional service providers.  

The cost is just $25 for members/$40 non-members and includes breakfast.  Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Kathleen Deal at 978.353.7600 ext. 235, kdeal@northcentralmass.com or register here.

Canadian Sales Mission

Last month, Marketing & Communications Manager, David Ginisi, participated in a Sales Mission representing our tourism affiliate Visit North Central Massachusetts. The Media Mission took place in Toronto and Montreal and was sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and included meetings and presentations to tour operators, travel media and other trade contacts.  Visit North Central Massachusetts participated to help generate positive coverage for our region and establish meaningful media relationships.  Canada is a strong drive market for the region.

For more information on our tourism affiliate visit www.visitnorthcentral.com

Ginisi pictured with fellow Regional Tourism Councils of Massachusetts

Business and Civic Leaders Sign Letter to Governor, Senate President and House Speaker Insisting Any Deal on School Funding Include Measures that Lead to Better Outcomes

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, alongside the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) and over 100 business and community leaders from across the Commonwealth, signed a letter to Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo earlier this month. Seeking a legislative solution to the state’s longstanding achievement, opportunity, and skills gaps; the letter calls for any new funding to be used effectively and efficiently and for steps to be taken to establish career pathways within our schools. 

Education reform has become an increasingly contentious issue on Beacon Hill in recent years. A 2015 review of the Commonwealth’s 30 year old school funding formula found it had failed to adapt to the changing needs of the state’s school districts and frequently underfunded those facing the greatest challenges. The Chamber has long identified education as a key regional and state issue. In recent years, employers have complained of challenges finding, training, and retaining qualified talent- especially in the manufacturing sector. This has placed considerable pressure on these employers and led to concerns regarding missed opportunities for the region’s students. 

To address this, the Chamber established a taskforce consisting of regional employers and worked to identify solutions. The result, which also drew input from area educators, was a report published this year entitled “Build North Central: Promoting the Industrial Heart of Massachusetts”. This report contains both programmatic and policy recommendations and is intended to serve as a toolkit which policy makers and educators can both draw from, shaping the discourse in the process. These recommendations align closely with MBAE’s mission to ensure that “EVERY student graduates high school prepared for success in college and career” and led to the Chamber’s involvement in their advocacy efforts.  

“We hope to see reforms which better align curriculums with workforce needs and expose students to diverse career opportunities,” explained Roy Nascimento, the Chamber’s President and CEO “Integrating meaningful reforms will help to strengthen our education systems for the benefit of both our students and employers.” 

“Simply putting more money into a system that is failing far too many young people would be reckless,” said Edward Lambert, Jr., Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, one of the lead organizations behind the letter and a partner of The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.  “Crossing our fingers and hoping to get better results is not a strategy.  We’re hearing from folks all across the state who want to ensure that new funding closes achievement and skills gaps and who agree money alone won’t accomplish those goals.”   

Shortly after the letter was published, the Chamber testified alongside MBAE before the Joint Committee for Education at the State House. This testimony drew from Build North Central and placed a strong emphasis on aligning the state’s school systems with workforce needs. “We strongly believe all students should have access to work-based learning which, provided alongside rigorous college-level coursework, has proven to be effective in preparing students for success academically and in the workforce” stated Christopher McDermott, the Chamber’s public affairs manager. “Programs such as internships, co-ops, apprenticeships strengthen the educational experience, help our schools engage local employers, and provide meaningful introductions to career opportunities.”  

Click here to read the Chamber’s testimony before the Legislative Committee on Education

Click here to read the letter the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House

For more information, Please contact Christopher McDermott, Public Affairs Manager at 978.353.7600 ext. 224 or via email at cmcdermott@northcentralmass.com. 

North Central Development Corporation Publishes 2019 Manufacturers Directory

Expansive guide highlights the region’s vast manufacturing firms and industrial space

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) announce the publication of the 2019 edition of the Manufacturers Directory and Industrial Parks Guide for North Central Massachusetts. The publication is designed to promote and connect manufacturers with suppliers as well as serve as a resource for companies looking to relocate or expand throughout the region. 

Working with multiple sources, the NCMDC confirmed the operating status and primary product line of each company listed in the directory. In addition to the listing of local manufacturers, the publication also includes a section on life science companies, a listing of suppliers and a guide to business and industrial parks in North Central Massachusetts. 

“We published this directory to help support our local manufacturers who are so critical to the long term vitality of the North Central economy”, said Roy Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation. “We hope that this publication will be a resource in connecting manufacturers with their peers and helping them find local suppliers.”

This publication is part of the Chamber and Development Corporation’s continuing efforts to help promote the region and advance the economy of North Central Massachusetts.  In addition to this manufacturing directory, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation has expanded its efforts to raise awareness of career paths in the advanced manufacturing field and  recently published a report entitled “Build North Central: Promoting the Industrial Heart of Massachusetts” which highlights recommendations to support the region’s manufacturing industry.   It has also expanded its micro-loan programs, grown its technical assistance offerings for new and established small businesses in the region and expanded its reach to small and growing businesses in neighboring communities through partnerships with local chambers. 

The 2019 edition of the publication was supported by advertising and is being circulated to manufacturers throughout the region. For more information, please contact the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce at 978.353.7600.

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts.  The NCMDC acts as a connector, facilitator and partner and works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance.  The NCMDC is certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program and is a micro-loan intermediary for the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $6 million in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy.

For more information about the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation please call 978.353.7607.

Visit North Central Massachusetts hosting Annual Tourism Update Breakfast

Forum to bring together tourism related businesses and organizations in the region

Visit North Central Massachusetts (VNCM) and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the fourth annual Tourism Update Breakfast being held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at the Double Tree by Hilton, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA. This exciting and fast paced breakfast event features industry experts who will share their professional insights on marketing North Central Massachusetts. The 2019 breakfast program is sponsored by the Double Tree by Hilton.

Lysa Miller, Co-founder of 3 Media Web, will speaking on online strategies to boost your business to visitors and groups. Lysa Miller is an entrepreneur and business development expert with 20+ years of experience increasing bottom lines for companies. In the past, she developed strategies for businesses that encompass the use of social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and online advertising to help reach their revenue goals. She is currently a partner at 3 Media Web where she continues to help fuel growth, evolve the brand, provide thought leadership and insight, create strong relationships in the community and build innovative partnership programs. 

Tony D’Agostino, has been with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism for more than ten years as the Director of Research. In that time, D’Agostino’s main projects have been related to studying the volume of tourists, visitors and the economic impact of tourism spending in Massachusetts. These reports support the marketing initiatives and activities of the sixteen regional tourism councils across the Commonwealth.  Mr. D’Agostino’s presentation will highlight visitor trends, top visitor markets and the impact of tourism for the state and region. 

Roy Nascimento, President of Visit North Central Massachusetts and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will also provide an update on the tourism marketing initiatives of Visit North Central Massachusetts for 2019. 

“Tourism is important to the future of North Central Massachusetts and plays an increasingly important role in our local economy” said Roy Nascimento, president of Visit North Central Massachusetts. “We organize this annual program as a way to bring tourism related stakeholders in the region together to share best practices, learn new trends in the industry and to take advantage of new opportunities to better market local businesses and the region to visitors.” 

The Tourism Update Breakfast is open to all community members and will run from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. The cost is just $25 for VNCM and North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce members/$35 for non-members and includes a breakfast buffet. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Meet our Annual Business Meeting Keynote Speaker

We are excited to announce Boston Marathon Director, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist, Dave McGillivray as our keynote speaker for our 35th Annual Business Meeting. 

From his extraordinary 1978 run across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to serving as technical director then race director of the BAA Boston Marathon since the 1980s, McGillivray has helped organize more than 900 mass participatory events since founding DMSE Sports in 1981, while raising millions for worthy causes close to his heart.

McGillivray’s personal triumphs and accomplishments will inspire and motivate the local business community.

We hope you can join us for what is going to be a truly inspirational event. To register for the 35th Annual Business Meeting, contact Kat Deal at 978.353.7600 x235 or via email at KDeal@northcentralmass.com.

North Central Massachusetts Chamber and Fidelity Bank look to future of economy at 
Eighth Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast

Community and business leaders will look to the future of the economy in North Central Massachusetts at the Eighth Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast being held on Friday, March 29th from 7:45 am to 10 am at the Double Tree by Hilton, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA. Sponsored by Fidelity Bank and in partnership with the Greater Gardner, North Quabbin, Nashoba Valley and Wachusett Area Chambers, the Breakfast will feature the annual Economic Outlook Survey and three featured speakers. 

This year will feature an Economic Forecast Panel comprised of three business leaders: Rachel Lopez, President of Resource Management, Inc.; Dr. Keith Williamson, Dean of Business and Technology of Fitchburg State University; and Jeff Fuhrer, Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Jeff Fuhrer is responsible for the Bank’s regional and community outreach functions. He has been an associate economist of the Federal Open Market Committee, and regularly attends key U.S. policymaking meetings with the Bank’s President.

Dr. Keith Williamson is the Dean of Business and Technology at Fitchburg State University. He is a mechanical engineer with more than $6 million of sponsored research from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Labor combined. He is a former Chair of the Board of Directors for The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems, a Virginia research corporation, and former Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Virginia State University. Williamson holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University.

Rachel Lopez is President of RMI, Resource Management, Inc. RMI is a family-owned company based in Fitchburg that provides Human Resources Outsourcing services to businesses across the country. Ms. Lopez joined RMI 20 years ago and was the company’s first employee. The company prides itself on an approach that values long-term employees and a concerted team effort. 

The cost is just $25 for Chamber members/$40 non-members and includes a breakfast buffet. Season Tickets are also available for purchase.  Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or register here. 

Visit North Central Massachusetts hosting Annual Tourism Update Breakfast

A Forum to bring together tourism related businesses and organizations in the region

Visit North Central Massachusetts (VNCM) and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the fourth annual Tourism Update Breakfast being held on Friday, April 10, 2019 at the Double Tree by Hilton, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA. This exciting and fast paced breakfast event features industry experts who will share their professional insights on marketing North Central Massachusetts. The 2019 breakfast program is sponsored by the Double Tree by Hilton.

Lysa Miller, Co-founder of 3 Media Web, will speaking on online strategies to boost your business to visitors and groups. Lysa Miller is an entrepreneur and business development expert with 20+ years of experience increasing bottom lines for companies. In the past, she developed strategies for businesses that encompass the use of social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and online advertising to help reach their revenue goals. She is currently a partner at 3 Media Web where she continues to help fuel growth, evolve the brand, provide thought leadership and insight, create strong relationships in the community and build innovative partnership programs. 

Tony D’Agostino, has been with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism for more than ten years as the Director of Research. In that time, D’Agostino’s main projects have been related to studying the volume of tourists, visitors and the economic impact of tourism spending in Massachusetts. These reports support the marketing initiatives and activities of the sixteen regional tourism councils across the Commonwealth.  Mr. D’Agostino’s presentation will highlight visitor trends, top visitor markets and the impact of tourism for the state and region. 

Roy Nascimento, President of Visit North Central Massachusetts and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will also provide an update on the tourism marketing initiatives of Visit North Central Massachusetts for 2019. 

“Tourism is important to the future of North Central Massachusetts and plays an increasingly important role in our local economy” said Roy Nascimento, president of Visit North Central Massachusetts. “We organize this annual program as a way to bring tourism related stakeholders in the region together to share best practices, learn new trends in the industry and to take advantage of new opportunities to better market local businesses and the region to visitors.” 

The Tourism Update Breakfast is open to all community members and will run from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. The cost is just $25 for VNCM and North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce members/$35 for non-members and includes a breakfast buffet. Registration can be done by clicking here. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Kat Deal at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Chamber Welcomes Aidan Horgan

(North Central, MA) – The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of Aidan Horgan to its professional staff in the position of Member Services Specialist. Mr. Horgan is a recent graduate of Fitchburg State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in business administration. 

In his new position, Mr. Horgan will be responsible for helping raise the Chamber’s visibility and educating businesses in the region about the Chamber’s service offerings, promoting the benefits of membership and ensuring that current members enjoy maximum value for their investment.

He is a native of Princeton and graduated from Wachusett Public Schools. He currently resides in Fitchburg, where he is active in the community including serving as a school committee member and volunteering at Fitchburg Access Television. While at Fitchburg State University he was active in Moot Court, wrote for the student newspaper and also interned at Mayor Stephen  DiNatale’s Office in Fitchburg. 

“We are excited to welcome Aidan to our team,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.  “He will play an important role in helping to support and engage our members.”

His early goals will be to expand the Chamber’s presence in communities across North Central Massachusetts and find the best ways to help members grow their business with assistance from the Chamber and its affiliates.

Existing members or businesses interested in learning more about the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce can reach Aidan at 978.353.7600 ext. 244 or via email at ahorgan@northcentralmass.com.