It's a new fiscal year for the chamber, and the new board of directors convened on the second Wednesday in July, hosted by Sacred Heart University. There are fresh, new ideas and even some old ideas with a new twist.
New board chairman, George Szondy, has set a goal of 100 new members in the chamber's next fiscal year. This means beginning Oct. 3, the chamber will hold a membership drive with incentives to join now. The tools needed to be successful will be supplied by the chamber office, and all are asked to use their own Rolodex to encourage people they know to join the chamber of commerce. The drive officially ends Oct. 31, with all applications and investment checks due no later than Nov. 9 in order to qualify for the special incentives.
The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce will be the first chamber in the state of Connecticut to provide its members with a listing on the chamber's new mobile app. In addition to the listing in the 2012 Guide, the mobile app listing will include the company name, distance locator, business address, phone number and website. This means that a mobile device user may be relaxing on the beach and easily make a reservation with a chamber restaurant. The user will also be given directions, the distance to the item being searched, and a Google map. The idea was conceived by a chamber member, Studio 63 LLC, in conjunction with the 2012 Business and Membership Guide to be available in January 2012. Of course, mobile listings may be enhanced to include videos, higher placement in search results, and so forth. Just another reason to join the Fairfield Chamber.
Is this fair?
A situation occurring in a southern state came to my attention through Free Enterprise magazine.
You have all heard of Boeing Manufacturing, and you probably know it is based in the state of Washington. Boeing decided to build a new jetliner assembly plant in Charleston, S.C.; however, the National Labor Relations Board alleges that Boeing discriminated against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union in violation of the NLRB Act by not locating the new plant in Puget Sound, Wash.
South Carolina was ordered to stop work on the plant, which by then was pretty much completed, and move the operation back to the state of Washington. The South Carolina plant provided thousands of construction jobs in addition to all the new jobs expected to become available when the plant opens up.
Because no work is being transferred to South Carolina from Washington, not a single union worker will be affected. And yet, the NLRB has continued its fight to move the plant back to Washington.
What's wrong with this picture? Why should the federal government be allowed to interfere with a company's right to locate a new plant wherever it wants? The NLRB move makes no economic sense and I can bet that South Carolina's governor is not going to give them a pass on this one. Too many jobs are at stake in a state where unemployment is high.