Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We've changed the location of our Chamber Blog!

The Chamber Blog is still alive and well, but we've changed its location. The blog is now hosted on the NEW bostonchamber.com. FIND IT HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Business Editors join This Week in Business

Sunday on This Week in Business, Boston Business Editors Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe, Frank Quaratiello of the Boston Herald, and George Donnelly of the Boston Business Journal joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas for their monthly segment to discuss national job trends and the $26 billion foreclosure settlement.

In the Briefing Room, the Editors are back to discuss some Boston development projects and to share stories their own papers are covering. They also make predictions for news to come in the week ahead.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on Massachusetts' No Child Left Behind waiver, a new TSA program at Logan Airport, how this year's warmer winter is impacting business, and Speaker DeLeo's pledge to avoid any new taxes or fees in FY 2013.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Announcing the 2012 leadership classes

As part of the Chamber Leadership Initiative, we are pleased to announce that the 2012 Boston’s Future Leaders program will include 83 of the region’s most talented young professionals from the business, nonprofit, and government communities, while 42 of the region’s most senior business leaders will participate in this year’s Executive Leadership Institute.

“Our most valuable asset in Greater Boston is our incredible talent pool,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber. “In order to grow our economy and make this region a more competitive place to do business, it is vital that we develop, engage and retain our leaders of today and tomorrow.” 

Chamber's Paul Guzzi talks community college reform on WBZ Radio

President & CEO Paul Guzzi
Yesterday, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed Speaker DeLeo's pledge to avoid any new taxes, the Chamber's role in the newly formed "Coalition FOR Community Colleges," and the national job picture with WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby.

The interview was played throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.


Foreclosure settlement & No Child Left Behind waiver 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' with NECN's Latoyia Edwards to discuss Thursday's major foreclosure settlement, Massachusetts' No Child Left Behind waiver, and Speaker DeLeo's pledge to avoid any new taxes or fees.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Women's Network Breakfast: Building your Brand

A sold-out crowd of female professionals filled the Four Seasons Hotel this morning for the latest Women's Network Breakfast.  Attendees had the opportunity to network with hundreds of their peers - and listen to an esteemed panel of successful women leaders discussing the keys to building your brand, and leading with values.

The discussion was moderated by Bates' Communications CEO Suzanne Bates, who was joined on stage by Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman, Hollister CEO Kip Hollister, and Chef Barbara Lynch
Below are some highlights from the event:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chamber's Jim Klocke talks community college reform on WBUR

Mass. Businesses, Groups Focus On Reforming Community Colleges


BOSTON — Even with 240,000 people in Massachusetts looking for jobs, employers say they simply cannot find the highly trained workers they need to fill 120,000 job openings. A new, statewide coalition of businesses and non-profit groups wants to tackle the problem by getting behind Gov. Deval Patrick’s new plan to strengthen community colleges by centralizing their management.

The group is called the Coalition for Community Colleges. Jim Klocke is one of the members of the new coalition. He’s the executive vice president of public policy for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and he joined Morning Edition Tuesday to discuss the group’s mission.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chamber joins Coalition for Community Colleges

The Chamber has joined 'The Coalition FOR Community Colleges in an effort to strengthen the state's community college system. We will continue to meet with governemnt, business, and civic leaders on this issue. Find the press release announcing the coaltion below.

Read more in the Boston Business Journal here.

The Coalition FOR Community Colleges: Putting Education to Work is an independent statewide coalition of business, civic and community  leaders who want community colleges in Massachusetts to prosper and provide successful educational and job opportunities for their students.  The Coalition believes community colleges are uniquely positioned to be the crucial bridge between the jobs that exist in our 21st century knowledge economy and the skills required to fill them. It seeks to elevate the role, responsibilities and funding of these vital public institutions of higher education, and supports reforms that will give the key stakeholders in the system the ability to do just that.

The need for strong community colleges has never been more urgent. Massachusetts faces a “skills gap” that has left more than 100,000 jobs unfilled at a time when 240,000 Massachusetts residents are unemployed. The problem lies in the yawning mismatch between the skills necessary to fill these jobs and the training of our residents seeking employment. That gap doesn’t need to exist. Even more concerning is that other states – states that Massachusetts competes with for new business and business expansion – have been far more successful in creating strong community college systems that work with businesses and government to strategically grow their state’s economy. Allowing our community colleges to remain  an uncoordinated group of 15 institutions with multiple missions and a lack of strategic focus puts Massachusetts at a competitive disadvantage in appealing to businesses that require an agile, talented and consistent workforce, and it fails to provide our residents with the best possible pathways to the jobs that exist. 

For decades, Massachusetts has significantly underfunded public higher education, particularly its community colleges. With his new budget proposal, Gov. Deval Patrick has forcefully decided to change that state of affairs. He has shone a bright light on the critical role community colleges play in our education system, providing certificate and degree programs that can lead directly to the workforce, and preparing other students to transfer to four-year institutions to continue their path to later economic success. The Coalition FOR Community Colleges supports the Governor’s reforms. 
By creating a system that is unified under a clear and compelling mission, we can maximize the alignment of the colleges with labor market needs, highlight and build upon best practices from across the 15-campus system, enhance and improve local collaboration with the business and civic community, and ensure that the system as a whole has the resources it needs to provide a quality education to all students.

In summation, the Coalition believes:
  • Community colleges are ideally positioned to address the skills gap. It is estimated that 38% of today’s openings require more than a high school diploma but less than an undergraduate degree, a number that will likely grow as the state’s  economy continues to expand in areas such as  health care, biotech, and innovation technologies.
  • When it works  well for students, a coordinated system of community colleges provides an accessible gateway to economic success in Massachusetts. According to a recent community college study, a Massachusetts community college degree doubles a person’s annual wages – increasing pay from $21,200 to $42,600. And nine out of  10 community college graduates stay in the state – living, working and contributing to the Massachusetts  economy.
  • Today’s community colleges lack a coherent, systemic mission, limiting their effectiveness for students and potential employers. While many community colleges have created partnerships with local employers, the 15 individual campuses lack a systemic vision, with each campus largely designing its own programs of study. That makes the system difficult for students to navigate and creates problems for employers seeking qualified workers.  Clarity of mission also must be reflected in consistency in operational areas, such as course numbering and degree requirements, which would improve student transfer ability and make it easier for employers to understand the qualifications of community college students and graduates.
  • Our community colleges need more resources, but also must be held accountable for their use. Public higher education has suffered from a serious lack of resources in Massachusetts, and community colleges have been hit especially hard. The community college system needs greater investment from the state and business community, but with that investment comes a need for much greater accountability – a consistent set of metrics that goes beyond graduation rates and effectively measures student success both in community college and post-graduation. Colleges that perform well deserve resources to further those missions; those lagging need greater oversight.
  • The ideal governance structure combines coordinated statewide strategy and support with local operational control to design curriculum and programs tailored to regional needs. Local decision-making is critical to the success of community colleges – local boards of trustees, with significant business representation, must play a powerful advisory role for college administrators and faculty as they develop specific curricula and programs. But the state Board of Higher Education and the Commissioner of Higher Education are uniquely situated to ensure these programs fit the larger overall mission of community colleges, and that the colleges are integrated into the overall education system.

Chamber works with Tax Expenditure Commission to asses impact of tax breaks

The FY’12 state budget created a state government-led commission to evaluate and make recommendations on state tax, credits, deductions, and exemptions over the coming months. The Chamber has been working with the commission to ensure that its work reflects the perspectives of the employer community and the need for a competitive business tax climate.

On Monday, the Commission met and voted on a set of principles to guide their work over the next couple of months. In the State House News story below, Chamber EVP Jim Klocke was referenced:

Jim Klocke, the executive vice president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber was pleased to see a recognition of economic competitiveness included in the principles, as well as the importance of taxpayer confidentiality as it relates to public disclosure.

"We need to be mindful of the competitiveness issue all the time throughout this process. It has a big effect on business and jobs," Klocke said.

Klocke predicted the work of the commission would intensify in the coming weeks now that Gonzalez and his team have completed work on the governor's budget proposal for fiscal 2013.

"We all know how much revenue is associated with each tax expenditure, but the question of what kind of effects those have and how those are measured are the big questions that will come over the next few months," he said.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl ad special on This Week in Business

Today on This Week in Business, Joe Grimaldi, president & CEO of Mullen, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to weigh in on this year's Super Bowl advertising trends and to preview some of this year's top ads.

In the Briefing Room, NECN Sports Analyst Chris Collins joined to discuss what winning this year's Super Bowl title would mean to the Patriots establishment.

On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on the nation's January jobs report, the passing of Boston Mayor Kevin White, Facebook's IPO filing, and a new developer for the Filene's Basement site in Downtown Crossing.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Did you miss any recent Chamber events?

No problem! You can now listen to a complete broadcast of our Government Affairs Forum with Attorney General Martha Coakley and our Executive Forum with Ronald O'Hanley, president of Asset Management & Corporate Services for Fidelity Investments. These broadcasts aired on WBUR 90.9FM.



Job cuts at UMass Memorial & FDA approval at Vertex 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss a Chamber Forum with Ron O'Hanley, Fidelity's president of Asset Management, FDA approval for Vertex, and job cuts at UMass Memorial.

Chamber CEO Guzzi Talks Summer Internships

As part of Mayor Thomas Menino's City of Boston summer jobs program, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi shares his views on how internships build a stronger business community and drive indivual growth for organizations across the region:

Are you looking for an easier, more effective way to hire summer interns alligned with your business needs and objectives? Connect with the thousands of highly motivated, talented students across the area's world-class college and universities, through Chamber Intern Connect. Click here to sign up in just minutes!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New GAF with Governor Patrick on May 15th

Massachusetts' Governor Deval Patrick will be speaking at the Chamber's Government Affairs Forum on May 15th.

Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Time: 7:45 a.m. Registration & Networking
8:10 - 9:00 a.m. Program
Location: TBD

Register HERE!

See photos from the Governor's last event with the Chamber, HERE!Link

Fidelity's O'Hanley Headlines Chamber's Executive Forum

Ronald O'Hanley, president of asset management & corporate services for Fidelity Investments, today addressed a full room of local business executives and professionals, as part of the Chamber's latest Executive Forum.

O'Hanley covered a wide array of topics impacting the financial and investment communities, including the challenges around retirement savings, Social Security concerns, and the increased need for financial education.

Media coverage:
Select images from this morning's event are below. For a full gallery, please click here.

Chamber to Host Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Awards

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the revival of a longstanding Boston tradition, the Ten Outstanding Young Leaders (TOYL) awards.

The TOYL awards were presented by the Boston Jaycees from 1952 to 2006 to identify and celebrate the region's young leaders. With the support of the U.S. Jaycees, we will resume these prestigious awards in 2012 and continue the tradition of honoring Greater Boston's current and future leaders.

The 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders awards will be held on Thursday, June 21, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel.

Since its inception, over 500 young leaders--including President John F. Kennedy, community advocate Carol Fulp, business leader Jack Connors, Jr., and Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski--have been honored for their professional, personal, and civic commitment to improving the quality of life within our community.

We look forward to continuing the legacy created by the Boston Jaycees, and are currently accepting nominations for the 2012 awards. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 23.

To learn more about the Ten Outstanding Young Leaders awards event, please contact Ali Pincus-Jacobs, senior director of programs, at 617-557-7347.