At our monthly meeting held on Tuesday, December 13, the following guests from North Shore Community College (NSCC) were in attendance:
- Bill Heineman: President
- Adam Cutler: Dean, Strategic Partnerships
- Yelenna Rondon: Chair, Business Department
President Heineman provided with the group with a presentation entitled: Preparing the Next Generation of the North Shore Workforce. This presentation featured an analysis of vacant jobs in the Commonwealth and described NSCC’s focus on providing post-secondary education from short term training to Associates Degrees, certificate programs and other creative options. The presentation demonstrated the various ways NSCC is taking a proactive approach to addressing labor shortages in our region. The Chamber will continue to partner with NSCC’s leadership and continue the focus on addressing the labor challenges in our region.
Other Government Affairs activities in November and December
- Essex has received a $75k grant award in state funds and a $15k pledge from MAPC for the development of proposed amendments to their zoning bylaws. The planning board finalized a scope of services and the town is finalizing the contract with MAPC.
- Essex and Manchester have received a placemaking grant and offseason events grant ($51k) which both have a fast turnaround.
- Essex is working on the light pole designs for their $160k grant award for new lighting on the causeway. Additional funding from the Town and an earmark from the State will contribute to the project.
- Essex is developing a guide to doing business in Essex which is still in the early stages but the direction they are leading towards looks like it will be an important new resource for Essex businesses. Mayflour in Rockport is moving to the old Essex River dogs location and the new We Dream in Color business says business is booming so far.
- Gloucester is applying for additional funding to extend its pop up and sign improvement grant programs. The city is also applying for Wayfinding, parking study, solar visitor kiosk, and Economic Development & Industrial Corp. electric capacity study grants along that the Mayor will also fund with its ARPA funds.
- Gloucester has been awarded a TA grant to plan and explore the establishment of a Downtown Management Organization of Business Improvement District. Endicott College students will collaborate with the City on supporting this work. This will conclude in the June time frame.
- Several Rockport businesses are closing at the end of this month, and in the recent division meeting there were a couple comments from businesses on the need of a Town funded Community Engagement role to make up for that absence. The Town is also struggling to find EDC committee members.
- Ipswich is undergoing a traffic improvement option review for the Central Street Intersection. The strongest option is a street light which would make the 5 corner intersection safer for pedestrians and vehicles. The Town is undergoing a lot of infrastructure improvements in the Downtown area.
- Gloucester Harbor Plan & CARP, sea level rise issues in all communities, drought is still an issue, Essex Apple St. roadbed elevation project, new Gloucester Sustainability Coordinator position, increased electricity costs, New Waste Bans (commercial food material threshold increased by half-ton or more weekly, textiles, mattresses)
The Government Affairs Council leads the Chamber’s focus on economic development and public policy, one of our key platforms. This Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9 AM, and participation is open to any Chamber member with an interest in being engaged with our state and local government and helping foster a vibrant Cape Ann economy. Currently, those who are part of our monthly meetings include representatives from greater Cape Ann’s industrial, tourism, government, real estate, legal, non-profit and services sectors. To learn more or join in these meetings, please contact Steve Buckley at email@example.com.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 10th.
Chief Operating Officer