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Protect Your Business

Policy Positions

These policy positions reflect the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce commitment to supporting the growth and prosperity of our region while prioritizing the needs and interests of our members and the community.

We will support policies that reflect these needs and interest in education, workforce development, diversity, and community growth in the Jackson County area through the lens of business. The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce will oppose policies that are unsustainable or limit opportunities for the businesses and residents of Jackson County.

ACTIVITIES & TOURISM

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce supports advancements that enhance activities to promote and aid tourism in our area. We will actively collaborate with regional organizations to advance the tourism industry. We support initiatives such as the implementation of an Electric Vehicle Charging Station plan and public access improvements to Jackson County’s abundant outdoor spaces and activities.

AGRICULTURE/AGRIBUSINESS

We support policies aimed at continuing and enhancing the success of our local farmers and agribusinesses. We recognize the integral role the agriculture industry plays in our region’s future. Our advocacy focuses on ensuring stable markets for Michigan grown products and promoting sound science.

COMMUNITY PROJECTS

We support the use of Congressionally directed funding, state appropriations and local funding for community projects in the South Central Region. The Chamber of Commerce will advocate for state and federal spending that improves the infrastructure and business climate in Jackson County, thereby benefiting the entire community.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce is committed to actively supporting diverse enterprise through an inclusive board, workforce, membership, business environment, and community. We ensure that these values are reflected in our policies, practices, membership services, and community engagement efforts.

EDUCATION

K-12 EDUCATION

We support funding, policies and programs that build and strengthen soft skill development (ex. Employability PACT by the Jackson County Talent Hub) and the talent pipeline from K-12 to the workforce. Specifically, we advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education funding as it is crucial for the future of companies, considering the growing hi-tech industry. We also endorse Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to ensure that students in grades 9-12 have strong academic foundations and specific technical skills to succeed in their chosen careers or post-secondary programs.

Additionally, investments in programs like MI Future Educator Fellowship, MI Future Educator Stipend and Grow Your Own programs are critical to encourage more high-quality educators to enter the profession and alleviate the current teacher shortage to further support and educate our children.

INVESTMENT IN CONTINUING EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING

We support a high-quality, affordable, and accessible post-secondary educational sector that aligns curriculum with talent and workforce development needs. This includes the continued alignment of early college, certificate, associate and competency-based programs at community colleges;

certificate, bachelor and master programs at private colleges and universities; and new models that incentivize greater collaborations that lead to improved outcomes. Our aim is to provide an affordable way for students to receive a post-secondary education, increasing access for first-generation students and driving economic growth in the community.

We advocate for continued education and lifelong learning opportunities for individuals already in the workforce. We support federal and state appropriations that assist with continued workforce development and stackable credentials through higher education and other agencies. Additionally, we encourage collaboration with counselors and teachers in school systems to better understand how to aid future generations on their chosen paths.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & RETENTION

We support local and regional workforce development and retention initiatives designed to advance our region’s labor force. Collaborations with organizations function as a force multiplier to strategically develop Jackson County’s present and future workforce. We endorse innovative programs that help employers attain the skilled workforce necessary for the success of Jackson County.

SKILLED TRADES

We support the funding of skilled trades programs, registered apprenticeships, career readiness, and workforce development initiatives to retain and attract talent in the South Central Region. We endorse financial literacy, leadership, and career exploration programs to prepare students academically and with the necessary skills for the workforce or higher education. We also encourage the growth of the skilled trades workforce and participation from all students in Jackson County.

EMPLOYER RIGHTS

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce believes decisions on employee relations are best left to individual employers and their employees in relation to pay, benefits, schedules and other workplace policies. We believe employers should retain the right to refuse to hire, fire, test, and suspend individuals under the influence of substances.

ENERGY

We believe energy is foundational to a strong local economy. We support all forms of cleaner energy and energy efficiency that provide reliability and affordability to drive Michigan’s economy forward.

HEALTHCARE

HEALTH SERVICES

We support systems that adequately fund our healthcare system and funding programs that help community members lead healthy lives. Furthermore, we promote initiatives that encourage citizens to be active in the labor market and contribute to the workforce.

MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE ABUSE

We support programs that assist individuals with addiction in reclaiming their lives. We advocate for training programs and rehabilitation services to facilitate their transitioning into employment.

PUBLIC SAFETY

We believe in addressing both the perceptions and realities of crime and homelessness in our community. The Chamber supports public safety to create safe, vibrant neighborhoods and business districts in an effort to attract and retain individuals and families, as well as policies that transition individuals into short and long-term housing through support services, education and workforce initiatives.

TRANSPORTATION & INFASTRUCTURE

We support efforts to improve infrastructure in the Jackson area. Satisfactory infrastructure is crucial for businesses to thrive. We advocate for increased private, local, state, and federal funding for infrastructure improvements, including roads, bridges, broadband and water sewer systems. Enhancing accessibility in our community is vital for a thriving economy.

TECHNOLOGY

We promote private investment, along with state and federal grants, to further broadband expansion and improvement. Connecting the Jackson community is crucial as worldwide reliance on technology grows. Connectivity plays a fundamental role in business and educational success.