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FCBOE RFQ for Network Calling Cabling Projects

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Please see the attached solicitation. This can also be located on our website (www.fcboe.org) under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awards. Please feel free to forward this to any interested party or vendor. Thank you in advance for your consideration and participation.

 

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Chambers Change Your Community

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Most people are aware of chambers of commerce but aren’t quite sure what they do.  Some believe chambers are part of the local government or think of them as “that organization that puts on the town festival.”  Yes, chambers are often the organization putting on the festival and yes they frequently work with local governments; but in the U.S., they are not part of any government.  They are independent member organizations and their members are businesses.

Business organizations promoting trade and commerce have existed for more than 4,000 years.  In America, chambers got their start much like the United States did:  opposing taxes.   The Molasses Act of 1733 brought the Boston businesses together.  In New York City, the 1765 Stamp Act was the catalyst for first official American chamber of commerce created in 1768.  These new chambers in the colonies were different from the ones in Europe, which were part of government.  In his book, “The Magicians of Main Street”, chamber of commerce historian Chris Mead describes these new American organizations as “relatively independent of government authority as they represented the commercial interests in an occasionally hostile and never easy mercantile environment.”

As our country grew across the continent, so did the number of chambers of commerce.  Business leaders rallied around initiatives to better their communities.  The Erie Canal, which brought great prosperity to the Northeast, would likely not have been built if the New York Chamber and its business leaders had not lobbied so heavily for the project.  In addition to lobbying for valuable infrastructure projects for their communities, chambers took on boosterism creating reasons for people to visit and spend money in their communities.  Some famous local chamber of commerce boosterism projects include launching the Atlantic City Chamber’s Miss America Pageant and the Hollywood Chamber’s Stars of Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The most interesting chamber initiative was the Chicago Association of Commerce’s Secret Six committee.  Formed in the 1930s to address mob activity, the committee raised money to buy information used to help take down Al Capone and other gangsters.

Until the 1970s, chambers of commerce almost solely supported their local businesses through advocacy and boosterism.   In the latter half of the 20th century, chambers began offering ongoing programs to help members find more business or to improve operations.   During that period that local governments looked to their local chamber’s expertise and connections and established contracts for specific business-related duties involving tourism or economic development marketing.

The needs of businesses have changed over the past 40 years and many of today’s jobs require brains versus brawn.  Businesses demand a highly-skilled workforce and a community that offers a quality of life that attracts the best workers.  Since businesses are more focused on workforce and quality of life, chambers are too.  Initiatives to improve schools, build higher education facilities or attract more amenities to their community are priorities on many chambers’ programs of work.

The businesses that are engaged with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce expect the Chamber to provide opportunities to grow business as well as have a hand in building a desirable community.  That is why the Chamber was the catalyst for Fayette Visioning. This bold plan focuses on taking Fayette County to the next level with a cadre of initiatives focused on prosperity, education, place and community.   As Fayette Vision begins the real work of implementing the plan, the Chamber stands ready to do its part to make Fayette County the best it can be.

Senate Bill 88 Provides Debit Card Authorization for Payroll

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Policy & Regulatory Update Courtesy of Georgia Chamber

Senate Bill 88 creates a new option for employers who wish to use alternative and more convenient forms of payment to their employees. Employers will now be authorized to use a prepaid payroll debit card account as a legal method of payment of wages to employees. Georgia law previously allowed for checks, cash, and direct deposit, but was silent on using prepaid debit cards as an authorized method. This method of payment is already common in other states, but some employers were reluctant to use this method until the state law was amended and clarified.

In many sectors of the Georgia economy, especially for service workers and the agriculture industry, there exists a large population who are un-bankable. For employees who may not have a checking account, direct deposit is not an option. The prepaid payroll debit card method offers a secured alternative to cash and also avoids issues of fraud and fees associated with physical checks. Employees who receive payment in this method can use the debit card for purchases just as any other debit card, and are allowed to withdraw cash from any ATM.

The law requires any employer electing to participate in the method to deliver a written description of any bank fees associated with the program, and allows 30 days for an employee to request a physical check in lieu of the debit card. It also allows employees to transfer to direct deposit at any time.

This bill was signed into law by Governor Deal on May 6th and is now in effect.

Isakson, Westmoreland Receive Spirit of Enterprise Award

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its annual How They Voted scorecard and recognized nearly 250 Members of Congress with the Spirit of Enterprise Award. These legislators were recognized for their support of pro-growth, pro-jobs policies during the the 2014 session.
Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressman Lynn Westmoreland were among those recognized for their work to strengthen the U.S business economy.  The Fayette Chamber thanks them for their leadership.

FCBOE Centers of Innovation and Tech College Update

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

On May 4, the Fayette County Board of Education voted to allow expansion of its Career, Technology and Agricultural Education program to include health sciences and culinary arts classes.  This expansion is part of the school system’s Centers of Innovation initiative.  The Board also voted to move forward with a partnership with Southern Crescent Technical College.

As part of the visioning initiative, the Chamber has actively supported the Superintendent and the school system in its efforts to provide career pathway and possible dual enrollment opportunities for Fayette County students, including the partnership between Fayette County schools and Southern Crescent Technical College.

The Chamber thanks the Fayette County Board of Education for its unanimous support of this initiative.

Fayette County Parks Usage Update

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

April 30, 2015

At the board retreat last Wednesday, the Fayette Chamber board took a position asking Fayette County Commission to remove residency requirements currently in place for the parks managed by the Fayette Water Committee.  Numerous businesses located near Lake McIntosh had asked the Chamber to help get the restriction lifted so that their employees could enjoy the park during lunch and break periods.  While the Fayette Commission did not remove the residency requirements they did make it more accessible for workers by creating a pass that local businesses could purchase at cost.  Employers could then distribute the passes to their workers.  The passes are effective on weekdays starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.  The County will monitor how the new system works and may make changes again in the future.

The expenses affiliated with the parks adjacent to Lake McIntosh and Lake Horton are paid out of the water usage fees collected from local residents and businesses.

At the April 23 Fayette Commission meeting, Greg Detwiler delivered the Fayette Chamber’s position asking the commissioners to remove all residency requirements and eliminating all fees required for the use of the two parks.  Detwiler stated, “This isn’t about the cost but that we want our County viewed as welcoming.”

While the Chamber’s full position was not adopted by the Commission, the new system does provide employees in the area a way to enjoy the parks more easily.  The Chamber thanks the Fayette County Commission for their hard work on this issue.

FCBOE RFQ for Science Lab Furniture

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Please see the attached solicitation. This can also be located on our website (www.fcboe.org) under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awards. Please feel free to forward this to any interested party or vendor. Thank you in advance for your consideration and participation.

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FCBOE RFG for Copy Paper for Warehouse Stock

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Please see the attached solicitation. This can also be located on our website (www.fcboe.org) under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awards. Please feel free to forward this to any interested party or vendor. Thank you in advance for your consideration and participation.

 

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FCBOE RFQ for National Optical Digital Microscopes

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Please see the attached solicitation. This can also be located on our website (www.fcboe.org) under Departments then Purchasing and finally 4-Solicitations & Awards. Please feel free to forward this to any interested party or vendor. Thank you in advance for your consideration and participation.

 

 

 

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From our president – The Importance of Providing Internships

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Greetings!

 Thirty-three years ago, I had an opportunity that changed the course of my career.  I thought I wanted to be a teacher like my sister.  Thankfully, our school offered an opportunity to “try out” a career and after spending two weeks with first graders, I realized that I did not have the gift of teaching.  Instead of majoring in teaching and realizing three or four years later that it wasn’t for me, I entered college majoring in business.

 The Fayette County School system works hard to provide real-world opportunities for its students.  Businesses can participate in a variety of ways but the most impactful is providing internships.  Finding the workforce is often a concern for businesses so here is your chance to make a difference while also having one of Fayette County’s best and brightest working for you.  The Chamber has already signed up and you can too by filling out this simple form.  The school also has additional ways for businesses to get involved, including but not limited to, job shadowing, facility tours or speaking to classes.  Click here to fill out the easy form that lists the variety of connection opportunities.   For those who sign up, thank you for making a difference.

 Next Wednesday is our B2B luncheon.  The topic is one of our most requested - time and organizational management. We hope to see you there!

 Have a great week!

Carlotta

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