Chamber luncheon August 6

William Higgins, State Apprenticeship Program Lead introduced the Arizona Apprenticeship Program at the August 6 Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

by Pia Wyer

roundup staff reporter

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce wants to bring the Arizona State Apprenticeship Program to Rim Country to support local businesses, workers and the local economy.

William Higgins, program lead, introduced the program at the Aug. 6 chamber luncheon. He touted it as a way for people to earn money while training for a chosen profession instead of going to college and incurring student debt.

For the employer, the benefits of a registered apprenticeship include:

• For every dollar spent on a registered apprenticeship, employers receive an average $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste, and greater innovation.

91 percent of apprentices are still employed nine months later.

  • Reduces turnover rates & increase company loyalty
  • Results in higher productivity
  • Lowers investment in recruitment
  • Helps create a more diverse workforce
  • Helps reduce training costs
  • Guarantees competent workers, trained to company standards.

For the employee, benefits include:

• On-the-job training led by experienced and qualified personnel.

• Opportunities to receive education, develop skills, and gain experience leading to career advancement.

For more information, visit AZApprenticeship.com or call 602-542-6226.

Meet In Rim Country

The chamber has a plan to develop business tourism through the new program “Meet In Rim Country.”

Rollo Pool, volunteer, outlined the new initiative, its rationale and goals at the luncheon.

He said the chamber plans to create a niche market for hosting small meetings in Rim Country.

He defines small meetings as business meetings, management retreats, small conferences, workshops, and trade shows for 10-125 people. Initial marketing will focus on Phoenix and Tucson.

Meet In Rim Country’s priority is overnight meetings, Monday through Thursday in the summer and any time during the rest of the year.

Pool spoke of the benefits Rim Country has to offer including “available lodging, meeting rooms, proximity to primary markets, an excellent road access, fewer distractions, cooler temperatures, available food services, western heritage and culture, wildlife and natural beauty.”

Pool said that business tourism is a growing sector within a growth industry.

“Business travelers spend more per day than leisure visitors,” he said, “and 70 percent of business meeting attendees bring a guest or extend their trips.”

The chamber projects a cost of $15,000 for the first five-month phase of project development. They have secured 80 percent of that amount, $7,000 from Gila County and $5,000 in donated consulting services.

Pool emphasized the potential sales and bed tax revenue from the project, and how 16 meetings with 50 to 60 attendees for two nights would generate $400,000 in new money.

Chamber members can benefit by including their business information in promotional packets mailed to potential clients. There will also be sponsorship and partnership opportunities.

The chamber plans a six- to eight-page website for the project MeetInRimCountry.com.

For more information, email maia@rimcountrychamber.com or call 928-474-4515.

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