Did you know there are over 11,000 preschool through 12th grade students in Story County? That’s a lot of talent for our future workforce! Get to know these students now and help them discover all of the opportunity right here at home.
In a new section of our website, Future Ready Story County, we are serving as the connector for teachers, students, parents and business partners. What does this mean for you as a member of the business community?
Hop over to our Developing Talent section now to explore Future Ready Story County! We look forward to connecting you with the bright young minds of tomorrow’s workforce.
Written by: Leah Whaley, Public Relations Intern
As California and New York natives, Liz McAllister and her husband Zach Lisabeth may have never pictured themselves living and working in Iowa, but after nearly four years here, Ames has become their home. Zach earned his degree from Northwestern University in Communications and continued his education pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Iowa State University, which led Liz and Zach to Ames in 2016.
Prior to their life in Ames, Liz graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, California with a degree in environmental studies and went on to serve for two years in AmeriCorps where she began working in youth education and development. She is currently completing her master’s degree in social and cultural studies of education from Iowa State and serves as the Director of Strategic Change Management at the Iowa State University Foundation.
In her past role, Liz she traveled frequently, and as a writer Zach travels to both Los Angeles and New York, but throughout their careers they have chosen to stay in Ames rather than relocating. The sense of community and inclusivity in Ames have been a big factor in why they have chosen to stay, and do not have plans of leaving anytime soon. “For the foreseeable future, I see us here,” said McAllister “Ames is a calm and comfortable place to call home.”
Ames offers the amenities of a larger city as the home of Iowa State University while still creating a welcoming, close knit community. Liz is able to see this first-hand as a community member and through her work at the Iowa State University Foundation. “There’s a real investment in the community thriving. Whether it’s the youth, adults or ensuring that it’s a welcome place for everyone, inclusion is an important factor to me and Ames represents that value well.”
For those considering living in Ames, Liz’s advice is simple, “Do it,” said McAllister, “It’s a wonderful place to build connections and be part of a growing community of people who care about each other, care about the world and act on those beliefs. Find a way to get engaged in the community because then it feels like it’s yours to make and yours to build.”
At the Ames Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to have over 350 Gold Members. Out of the 593 total Chamber members we have, this adds up to over half of our membership. A Gold Member is an individual or business that pays 10% more than their annual member dues each year and as such receives some additional benefits to thank them for their investment.
Here’s what you gain when you become a Chamber Gold Member:
Weekly Email Recognition
We’re excited to announce that in February 2020 we launched a new email template for our weekly emails. Part of this template includes a space reserved to share our Gold Members and say thank you. This email sends to over 1,500 contacts each week.
All of our Chamber Members are provided with a special window decal denoting them as an investor in the Ames Chamber of Commerce. However, our Gold Members receive a gold decal for their window, highlighting them as a Gold Member to all their customers and clients.
Social Media Recognition
In addition to our weekly email recognition, Chamber Gold Members are recognized at least once a month on the Ames Chamber social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to be specific), and we make sure to tag your business page on Facebook and LinkedIn if applicable. We are excited to have over 1,000 likes, follows, and visitors on each of our pages, providing an ample audience to reach and engage with on a daily basis.
Social Media Share
Alongside the social media highlight thanking you for your investment, we offer our Gold Members a social media share on each of our pages. If you have a big event and you’re hoping to gain more attendance, or a special deal you’d like to highlight, we will promote your opportunity to our social media pages to help spread the your message! This once-a-year opportunity is offered exclusively to our Gold Members and Inner Circle Sponsors.
Part of being a Chamber Member includes having a listing on our online directory. However, as a Gold Member, your listing will include a special little icon noting you as such. This will draw more eyes to your listing.
All the Other Benefits!
Of course, you get to take advantage of the many other benefits we offer to all our Chamber Members! Some of these great opportunities include the use of a notary (we have two staff members that are certified notaries), the opportunity to post coupons and events to our website, and receive mailing labels for all our members (only $125 for over 500 contacts!). These are just a few of the great opportunities we offer our Chamber Members.
Because of the additional contributions for our Gold Members, we are able to provide enhanced programming to our membership that supports our efforts to help you succeed as a business – such as our Business Builder Series, advocacy efforts, and Workforce Solutions programming. We appreciate that over half of our membership finds value in our programming and chooses to invest 10% more in their annual dues. So, if you are a Chamber Gold Member – THANK YOU for your investment!
Communities and businesses across Iowa are facing workforce shortages like never before. Just like affordable housing, quality childcare is an important piece of the economic development puzzle. Story County has seen a 29% decrease in the number of childcare programs in the last 5 years. Childcare shortages and workforce shortages may not have a visible link; but both continue to impact recruitment and retention efforts for area businesses. Child Care Ready is one effort addressing the need for more childcare in Story County.
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR & R) has packaged all of the steps to become a registered Child Development Home or a new center employee into one unique training opportunity. The training includes rolling fingerprints, setting up training accounts, basic business practices, professionalism, pre-service trainings including CPR/First Aid, consultation and support services. All at no cost. CCR & R is partnering with the Ames Chamber of Commerce, IowaWorks, the Ames Public Library, BooSt ECI and United Way of Story County to provide all of this and additional incentives for starting a new child development home program for those that complete an assessment with their local CCR&R consultant.