Johnson: New partnerships, new opportunities

Partnerships are the cornerstone of our work at the Bossier Chamber. We partner with our members, to anticipate and find solutions for the needs of our industries. We partner with our education institutions to make sure the business community and educational entities are connected to build our workforce. We partner with our elected officials to meet needs at the legislative level to continue to grow our economy. We partner with other civic and professional organizations to complete the whole of what our community needs. 

 As we work to advocate and educate our members to provide them with the most opportunities, we are adding a very important partnership to our repertoire – working with the Coordinating & Development Corporation to help implement WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) in our community to connect displaced workers with jobs from our business community. As defined by the Department of Labor, WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. 

 This partnership grows the scope of work the Chamber does as a connector within our community and it was a natural next step for us. We already have great connections with our businesses and education institutions, as well as our military community. Now we will work directly with people who are looking to join the workforce we are already supporting in so many ways. 

Running this program through the Chamber, in coordination with CDC, is just one more way we are serving as a catalyst to drive our community forward. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its coming aftermath, we anticipate there will not only be more dislocated workers in our community but also more opportunities. We are a central location with strong transportation value at the crossroads of Interstates 20 and 49. We have great institutions who will create training to meet the exact needs of our area. We have strong businesses that are pivoting to be even stronger during and after the pandemic. We are ready to fulfill our vision of being the collaboration hub for business in Northwest Louisiana by connecting all of the dots to make sure we come out of this stronger, better, more nimble and better equipped. 

Lisa Johnson | President & CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.