Advocacy also means supporting the region’s economy by promoting our very healthy tourism sector. The Chamber attends tourism trade shows and events to entice visitors to come to Central Vermont, such as The New York Times Travel Writers Show, The Boston Globe Travel Show, and The Hartford Courant Travel Show. And we send out hundreds of tourism-fulfillment packages every year. We are advocates in the “shop local” arena. Our monthly Business-to-Business networking events bring on average 60 attendees to after-hours business mixers, all of whom are promoting their businesses and services. Last week we held our annual “Business Expo,” which offered members the opportunity to showcase their goods and services. Another way the Chamber advocates on behalf of the business community is to provide educational opportunities. Last month, the topic for our newest program, “Chamber $marts and ¢ents,” was “Using Social Media to Market Your Business.”
Most businesses in Central Vermont are small and may not have a fully staffed human resources department. In fact, more often than not, the company’s owner also serves as the head of human resources. But owners may not always have the most current information about changes in HR law. Therefore, our next monthly “Chamber $marts and ¢ents” offering will be on “Legal HR Basics.” This program will be presented by attorney Caroline Earle of the Montpelier Law Office of Caroline S. Earle, PLC., who will help businesses navigate the myriad laws and regulations that fall under state and federal requirements. This seminar will focus on the best ways to protect businesses in hiring and termination decisions. We will also explore the best ways to maintain a good working relationship with employees, and we will provide employer best practices in a nutshell. We will explore employee handbooks and the information those handbooks should contain.
Caroline Earle is the former Commissioner of Human Resources for the State of Vermont and was also Chief of the Civil Litigation Division of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. She is an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School. Earle has practiced in Vermont and federal courts and administrative forums for the past twenty-three years.
“Legal HR Basics” will be presented in the conference center of Beaulieu Place in Berlin on November 17, 2017, from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. The cost for this important seminar is $15 for chamber members and $20 for not-yet chamber members and includes a continental breakfast. You can register on-line at centralvt.com, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Chamber at 802-229-5711.
If you are interested in learning more about how the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce is working to improve the region’s economy, call me, Bill Moore, at 802-229-5711, or send me an email at Bill@centralvt.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mary Roehm is both a volunteer at the pantry and a patron. When asked about the types of people who use the pantry, she says “I use the pantry, frankly, I’m retired and unemployed, so I use it for myself.” Roehm worked as a professor of arts and ran the ceramics department at SUNY New Paltz in upstate New York.
She says one of the great things about working at the pantry is getting to see the community support that they get, including notable donations from places like Cumberland Farms and Shaw’s.
“I can go into Shaw’s and I can see what’s on sale, and I know that’s what the pantry’s going to get after the sale.”
Roehm also notes that help is coming from those in the community, and that those who have the means to do so will go shopping for the pantry and donate select items in need.
“Everybody is different,” she says of the people who utilize the pantry. “There are so many different people, you can’t just assume that there’s just one kind of person like just the homeless or something like that, it’s everyone in the community.” She says walking around town makes it easier to realize there’s a need in the community. “I realized that because I’m walking I see more,” she said.
“When driving you don’t notice because the people are invisible, only they are not invisible. They are wonderful people from all walks of life who are just at a point where they need some help and I am very happy that we are there to help them. Says another pantry volunteer Mary Smith, “We serve all ages for all types of situations … anyone in need, no questions asked. It really is a wonderful program.”