Welcome to a great New Year! As we take stock of all that happened in 2018 and we celebrate the strength of the Queens business community, I wanted to pause to reflect and give thanks to our Members, our Board and, most importantly, our Staff.
Without the dedicated professionals that make up the day-to-day operations and activities of the Queens Chamber, we would not be in the strong position we are in as we enter 2019. Thank you!
Both the opportunities and challenges with the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 are a major focus of the Queens Chamber. With 90 percent of our 1,000-plus member organizations having ten or fewer employees, it is incumbent upon the Chamber to work with Amazon on a number of fronts to support our Members:
• Buy local, shop local: We will be working with Amazon to encourage them to buy the goods and services they need as they ramp up operations in Queens from local suppliers, especially members of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
• Train, hire, train: As one of the 45 members of the Amazon Community Advisory Committee (CAC), I am committed to having those underserved in the community ready to be hired and then develop continuous improvement training on their skills as work requirements evolve over time.
• No more “soft skills”; they are “essential skills”: Soft skills might be the worst business colloquialism I have ever heard. We need to stop now. Having applicants job ready, showing up on time and being a dedicated and hard worker is what I hear time and time again from employers as an essential part of a hire.
It will be no different with Amazon. We owe it to our current generation of high school and college kids, whether they work for Amazon or any other organization, to be ready.
Lastly, we are happy to announce the formation of our tenth Member Committee, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee. Amazon has already committed to participate, and we have a number of Member volunteers working on the formation. Please stay tuned as developments unfold and events are scheduled.
As you can see, now would be a great time to join the Queens Chamber of Commerce and reap the full scope of benefits. Email or call me to get started.