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Building long term relationships

August 20, 2015
Westfield Republican

By Todd J. Tranum

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

I would like to thank our community's educational leaders, business entities, not-for-profit organizations and foundation partners who continue to be part of the Chautauqua County Education Coalition.

A group of community organizations ventured into this "collective impact" journey back in October of 2012. To provide some background, collective impact is about bringing together a group of stakeholders to take on a community challenge that cannot be effectively impacted by one single organization. A paper titled Collective Impact from the Stanford Social Innovation Review points out that collaboration is nothing new, but that collective impact strategies are different in that they involve collaborating with purpose, a process, a common agenda, measurement, continuous communication and mutually reinforcing activities among participants with coordination by a central infrastructure.

When the Chautauqua County Education Coalition was formed, its primary focus was on Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). It has since evolved to take a broader view of our County's learning system. Today the mission of the Coalition is to align resources and build capabilities to meet the evolving workforce requirements of the community. The Coalition now has 88 participating stakeholders representing over 66 organizations that are part of the Chautauqua County learning system. The goals of the Coalition are to improve outcomes at the key points along the learning system, enhance the opportunity for Chautauqua County's economy to grow through the retention and attraction of employers and people and increase learning system effectiveness through better alignment, synergy and resource sharing.

The Coalition is looking at opportunities to benchmark and improve kindergarten readiness, identify and develop middle school to high school career pathways that connect to the health care and manufacturing economy and coordinate and align offerings of group training for in demand occupations in the health care and manufacturing economy. Through the Coalition's work we are striving to make sure employers have the workforce that meets labor needs, improve the tax base, reduce poverty and reduce the number of children in poverty. The journey we have been on through the work of the Coalition has been worth the effort as it is helping build long term relationships among a variety of organizations in Chautauqua County that we believe will lead to sustainable long term outcomes that enhance our community.

The Chautauqua County Education Coalition is seeking to hire a leader who is inspired by the concept of collective impact and is will to work with us to continue our journey. If you are interested please contact the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce or email us at

Boardsmanship Training Workshop September 11

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce presents a special training workshop on how to be a good board member. This event will be held from 8:30-10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 11, at the Falcon's Nest Banquet Hall, East Main Street, Falconer. Chris Yates of Hutton Associates has an extensive background, having served on several boards of directors including Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, Chautauqua Lake Association, WCA Hospital Foundation, and others. He will spend this time sharing insights on what it means to serve on a board. Topics will include the role of the board and its members, hiring staff, vision and mission, budgeting, and nurturing diversity. Join the Chamber for this morning of good food and useful information. The cost is just $12. You may register online at or call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

Entertainment in the Park Concerts continue in Mayville

The Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce Entertainment in the Park Summer Concert Series continues through the month of August.

All concerts are free of charge through the generous sponsorship of the Town of Chautauqua and Village of Mayville. They are held Thursday nights at the gazebo at Lakeside Park on Route 394 from 6:30-8:30pm. This week's performance will be the jazz vocal sounds of Barbara Jean. Those attending should bring their own seating for the outside performances. For more information on this concert series, call the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce at (716) 753-3113 or visit their web site at

Chautauqua Gran Fondo combines tourism and wellness

Having long been in the business of working to provide quality, affordable healthcare coverage for our members, the Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the growth in wellness events in Chautauqua County. This year a new event is in the offing, Chautauqua Gran Fondo, a bicycle run designed to circle Chautauqua Lake with options for a full 42 mile loop or a 20 mile loop that crosses at the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry. This event on Aug. 29 features a number of sights in Chautauqua County, including the world renowned Chautauqua Institution. It begins and ends at Lakeside Park in Mayville, with a wrap-up Country Proud Celebration at Webb's in Mayville featuring live music and food through the afternoon. Friends and family who don't participate in the bike ride are still welcome to attend the celebration for just $10. Travelers who can't bring their own bicycles can rent them from either Hollyloft or the Jamestown Cycle Shop.

Health and wellness is crucial for strong communities. We encourage all residents and businesses to make it a high priority. If you need information about health insurance for an individual or for employees, please contact us at 484-1101 or 366-6200.



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