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Policy Progress: 2022 Year in Review

Policy Progress: 2022 Year in Review

The Chamber Government Affairs Committee convenes monthly to track policy matters that matter to our local business community. In 2022, the committee successfully: 

Advocated for workforce board realignment, which the Orange County Commissioners approved in June 2022; increased funding for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, which the Chapel Hill Town Council adopted in June 2022; Article 46 economic development funding and the preservation of economic development funds for the next ten years, which the Orange County Commissioners approved in September 2022; improvements to the regulatory process to speed-up and make it easier to develop affordable housing, which the Chapel Hill Town Council approved in October 2022; and the dedication of public land for affordable housing (American Legion) and the Complete Community Frameworkwhich the Chapel Hill Town Council approved in December 2022.

Connected members with candidates and elected officials throughout the Spring Primary (The Candidates and Elected Officials Forum, Spring announcement with 17 videos of local candidates) and the Fall General election (Election Hub).

Hosted the Critical Issues Series to connect members with timely information and elevate our positions in the public square through The Economic Outlook Forum, The Candidates and Elected Officials Forum, The Economic Development Forum, and The Legislative Forum, and celebrated local government officials in a reception with remarks shared widely.

Maintained up to date information making it easy for members to connect with and contact elected officials and get involved in advocacy efforts.

Informed the county (Orange County Forward) and town (Revive) AARP long-term recovery investment strategies and participated in a focus group to help inform the hiring process or the new Chapel Hill Planning Director. 

Developed a new Policy Platform aligned with four focus areas: Economic, Workforce, Community, and Business Development, which was approved by the Chamber Board in Dec 2022.

Commemorated Small Business Saturday with this announcement and a #BuyLocal page on the webpage, as well as coordinated the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Mayors to proclaim the day and local business owners to receive the proclamations and speak about how residents can shop small to make a big difference.

Developed and implemented a new orientation program for newly elected officials.

Learned about important policy matters from many expert guest speakers/presenters during the monthly committee meeting, including representatives from the Chapel Hill Planning Department on the Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO) in February 2022; Chet Mottershead, Assistant Secretary, NC Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions on workforce board realignment in April 2022; Steve Brantley, Orange County Economic Development on Article 46 in May 2022; and UNC Health on Eastown Redevelopment in December 2022. 

Engaged more deeply in workforce development with support for the Summer Careers Academy, which was launched and implemented throughout 2022 as an eight-week career training program, and celebrated the graduation of the inaugural cohort. The inaugural program, called “Building Our Future,” is a Registered Youth Apprenticeship Program in the skilled trades, which resulted in 100% of Pre-Apprentices successfully completing the program (15 out of 15 Pre-Apprentices), 80% earning the NC Registered Youth Apprenticeship Certificate (12 out of 15), five receiving job offers from their employers, and all are prepared for a high paying career in the skilled trades with zero college debt.

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