Cynicism is so easy, predictable, and, honestly, pretty lazy. It takes almost no effort to point out that something isn’t done the way you should, or how someone said something they shouldn’t. Social media is full of people criticizing things they don’t like, things they disagree with, or things that really upset them. I do it myself; it’s easy to get caught in a negativity vortex. Even when it’s righteous, telling the truth about heinous behavior or condemning things that hurt our community, we still do it in a negative way. It seemed to get worse as Election Day approached, as our airwaves were flooded with ads: “Let me tell you why this opposing candidate isn’t a good guy.” It really frustrates us.
So this week, I want to highlight a few things that excite me. One might argue that there are as many good things as bad things happen in the world, but the negative things suck the oxygen out of the room. Well, take a few minutes and allow me to briefly touch on some of the active projects, events and activities currently taking place in our Bath-Brunswick-Topsham area. I encourage you to share this news with anyone trying to bring you down because it’s all very positive stuff.
Will Power is back
Our Chamber of Commerce, with a local female leadership team, held its first quarterly event in over a year last night as it prepares to bring the quarterly event back in 2023. Held at Long Reach Kitchen + Catering in Bath, the event was a brainstorming mixer where dozens of local business leaders shared their thoughts on what events they would like to see in 2023.
This is exciting because when WILL Power was hosting quarterly events before the pandemic, it was one of the best things our Chamber did. We host Meet the Authors, CEO Champions Group Luncheons, Speed Networking Nights, Self Defense Classes, and more. Each event is created because women entrepreneurs in the region say, “These are the events we want to be a part of.”
After last night, we now have 6 to 10 ideas to run, and based on those ideas our organizing team will select four events for next year.If you are interested in being part of the event planning team or attending these events please email [email protected] And I can make sure to put your email on the correct distribution list for what you want to get involved with.
And just like that, we’re five weeks away from Election Day. Do you know who your candidate for the State Senate or State House of Representatives is? As a result of the 2020 census results, some of our areas have changed in terms of houses, so the person who used to represent you may now be in a different area.
Our Chamber of Commerce wants to assist you in all of these. Two years ago, we had one-on-one Zoom interviews with candidates, and I’m working on getting those interviews scheduled again with our candidates this week. It’s a lot of interviews (ages 18-20), but well worth it so you can hear them in their own words. I’ll let you know in this column once we’ve got it arranged and documented – hopefully we’ll be done by October. 20.
Additionally, we hosted an after-hours boardroom event at Reform Physiotherapy on October 5-7. 18 Ribbon cutting and open house. We also invite all candidates to attend, so if you are a businessman in the area wanting to attend this free event, please mark your calendar and look for our invitations on the BBRC Facebook page (or our weekly e-newsletter).
Career Exploration Internships Coming Soon
We’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work with schools and local community organizations, applying for Maine grants (which we received), and establishing a career exploration internship program for local students. In creating something so broad, involving three school districts, state regulations, grant-specific funds, and commercial agreements, it takes a lot of smart, passionate people to work together, and I’m proud to say that we have this partnership in our district right now. .
Through our weekly meetings, we’ve answered many questions about the best way to create the program, and have done so in a practical way that should make sense for both the business and the students in the program. What will eventually be a credit-bearing internship-based work-study program, students will spend 40-60 hours exploring a career path of interest to them while receiving a stipend for paid, meaningful work. Very exciting stuff. With the help of schools and chambers of commerce, businesses are a great way to show students how good their career path is.
More interior engineering programming
The career exploration program currently takes up most of the time, but our chamber of commerce is running both our one-minute job posting video program and our guidance counselor bus tour program, which will also be launched later this year. It’s all part of the Chamber’s new Chamber Works 2030 plan announced earlier this year.
Central Coast Arbor Day registrations open
We are only seven weeks away from the fourth annual Mid Coast Festival of Trees and it looks like it will be our biggest yet. As planning is well underway, we are halfway through breaking the record for the number of tree spaces.
The most significant change this year is that all event information, including tree registrations, volunteer registrations, sponsorship opportunities and more, is available on the dedicated event website midcoasttreefestival.com. Of course you can still call me at the Chamber of Commerce office if you have any questions (725-8797), but check out the website as well.
Cory King is Executive Director of the Bath-Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce.
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