RLACC 2019 Business Plan: Community Development Division

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Monday, March 4, 2019

As seen in the March edition of the Chamber Voice, the 2019 Business Plan was created to introduce you to the Strategic Plan’s Critical Success Factors and supporting Program of Work. Our mission is “to be the voice of business, to promote and initiate responsible economic growth, and to address community challenges in the Rogers-Lowell Area and region.” We’re celebrating our 97th year as the premier advocacy organization for business and we take our leadership role of being the Keeper of the Community Vision and Voice of Business seriously.

To accomplish our mission, we’re growing business and building community through mission-based strategic focus areas and increased collaboration with our members, partners and investors. Strategic areas 
of focus include economic development, downtown development, workforce recruitment and retention, government affairs, small business outreach, destination marketing, community education and leadership programs, and long-range community planning to improve quality of life. Below is the Business Plan for the Community Development Division.

Community Development

Programs in the Community Development Division impact and enhance the quality of life in Rogers, Lowell and the region by improving the lifestyles and amenities enjoyed by residents as well as attracting newcomers and visitors, and developing leaders for the future.

Strategic Focus Areas:

  • Continuous growth opportunities for professionals in our community allows for exponential growth in our local businesses as well as a greater appreciation for investment in the community
  • Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
  • Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders will serve as a go to resource for young professionals in the area regarding community engagement and relevant, timely information for personal and professional growth
  • Workforce Development

Division Goals:

  • Impart Best Practices on Current and Future Business and Community Leaders to Positively Impact our Region

SMARTY Objectives: 
1. Educate leaders on the inner working of our community and region.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Work with Greater Bentonville Area Chamber and Siloam Springs Chamber to Advertise for 2019 LBC Class
-Collect applications by May 1 interview potential Participants
interview applicants and set the class by May 24
-Work with Greater Bentonville Area Chamber and Siloam Springs Chamber to form the sessions and provide relevant content for each
-Work with EngageNWA to ensure that DEI Training is incorporated into the program
-Participants will develop a class project that impacts the Benton County/NWA Region
-Send out survey to ensure the program and content is relevant to the participant
2. Provide a student-focused program to promote growth and leadership opportunities.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Work with Arvest to Adv for the 2019 class
-Collect applications by Aug. 30 interview potential participants
-Interview applicants and set the class by Sept. 6
-Work with Arvest to form all session and provide relevant content for each
-Work with EngageNWA to ensure that DEI Training is incorporated into the program
-Class will finish 4 volunteer projects for a total of 8 community service hours for each participant
-Send out survey to ensure the program and content is relevant to the participant
3. Improve Board Service Certification Program, to ensure that the content and programming is relevant, and that participants are making connections with Nonprofits. 

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Create relationship with Arkansas NOP Alliance to learn of current Board Openings to inform participants of openings
-Host Networking with A Purpose event and invite all participants to meet and network with NOP
-Survey participants to see if content is relevant
-Create partnerships with organizations such as BoardSource, to ensure that we are offering top quality programming
-Send out survey 6 months after program to find out if participants are serving, and if not what can we do to help facilitate a connection
4. In 2019, Coordinate 7 professional and personal development activities for current and future leaders.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Work with NWAEL Steering Committee to come up with programming and relevant training for NWAEL Members
-Create partnerships with local content experts to offer development opportunities to NWAEL Members
-Survey Members to learn what trainings and program they would feel relevant for them

5. Relaunch the LBC Alumni Program, to help past participants re engage with the community.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Recruit and Identify five committee members
-Compile list of past participants
-Committee will form programs, content, and events
-Host Alumni Kick off Event

  • Ensure Future and Current Leaders Represent the Entire Community

SMARTY Objectives: 
1. Increase Minority Participation in all Leadership Programs by 15 percent in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Partner with EngageNWA to increase awareness and access to leadership programs to minority communities 
-Increase awareness about programs through inclusive outreach and engagement
-Have leadership application translated to different languages 

2. Create Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Recruit six participants to be part of DEI council Steering Committee
-Recruit additional six participants to be part of DEI council
-Steering Committee will travel to similar organizations to Benchmark their programs 
-Council will create a DEI Implementation Plan that will serve as a baseline for DEI programming and trainings
-Provide four trainings for Chamber Members on DEI issues, problems, and solutions
3. Create Board Mentorship Program.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Identify five Emerging Leaders or LBC participants who have an interest in serving 
-Identify five current Rogers Lowell Chamber Board members who have an interest in mentoring future leaders
-Pair mentor and mentee, and ensure that they meet at least four times a year 
-Upon completion, invite them to serve on Rogers-Lowell Chamber Board, or find another board that fits their interest.

  • Increase Member Engagement with Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders

SMARTY Objectives:
1. Increase social media audience by 20 percent in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Track results and identify priorities for content
-Implement new content tactics that are more relevant to young professionals
-Increase interactions with social media users

2. Increase number of email subscribers by 10 percent in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Produce two eNews monthly
-Promote eNews on social media outlets
-Track results and identify priorities for content

3. Increase attendance of NWAEL events, programs, and volunteerism by 10 percent in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-More intentional with marketing of events and programs
-Continue to grow partnerships with local businesses and universities 
-Create and execute Advertising Media plan for NWAEL
-Work closer with MarCom to promote NWAEL events

4. Increase website visitors by 10 percent in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Promote site on social media outlets
-Include link to site and promote in eNews
-Provide relevant content on site, ie inbound marketing

5. Increase Membership of NWAEL to 1,100 by end of 2019.

  • Revitalize Education Committee

SMARTY Objective:
1. Shift focus to workforce development.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Work closer with Small Business and Large Industry Councils
-Create partnership with NWACC Workforce Development Department 
-Create partnership with NWTI 
-Create more connections between students, industries, and education 


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