The Greenville, SC Chamber's Blog

Welcome to the Greenville Chamber's blog. Here you will be able to find Chamber news and happenings as it happens. Comments and responses to our postings are encouraged. Please, get connected with us, so that we can get connected with you (other social media links can be found below to the right). For more information on the Chamber, please visit us at or give us a call at 864-242-1050.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act

"EFCA is not about the unions winning more elections, it's about them never losing another election.."

Yesterday, on January 27, the Greenville Chamber hosted an event in conjunction with the Anderson Area, Cherokee, Greenwood, Greer and Spartanburg Chambers on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)/Card Check Bill that is moving through the US Congress.

Marc Freedman, director of Labor Law and Policy for the US Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to inform attendees on this Bill, but due to weather conditions, his flight was delayed, and did not arrive on time. So, the Chambers collaborated and put together a strong agenda of three individuals...

Moore Hallmark, executive director of the Southeastern Regional Office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, informed attendees of the US Chamber's stance on this bill -- which is a strong opposition. According to Hallmark and the US Chamber, there are three problems with Card Check: (1) Eliminating the Private Ballot, (2) Government Arbitration and Control of your business, and (3) Harsh New Penalties for Businesses (click here for more information).

Next up on the agenda was Baker Wyche, attorney with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Wyche has over 30 years of experience in dealing with labor and employment issues. During the program, Wyche gave a brief history of unions, how they have come about, and how they have been gaining in momentum. He informed attendees that unions can happen to any employee with 2 or more employees. In addition, Wyche informed attendees that as of 11:00 a.m. that day (1/27), he received word that Congressman George Miller has drafted a "Dear Colleague" letter asking for others to join him in passing this bill.

Steve Nail of Hubbell Lighting concluded the presentation urging attendees to be careful... "If you are not prepared, you will be organized before you know it." According to Nail, unionization can happen over night. Employers need to be aware, and need to be communicating to their staff. Nail encouraged attendees to give staff facts - tell them the good, the bad, the ugly. Communication is the absolute key against the formation of unions.

In order to stop this bill, action must be taken by not only Chambers of Commerce, but by business communities every where. Contact your congressman, senator or representative today and let them know of your opposition to this Bill. Links to assist in doing so are below:
US Senators for SC:
US Representatives for SC:
Useful Links:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chamber Impacts Upstate Schools!

When thinking of a Chamber of Commerce, people generally think of an organization bringing businesses to a particular area... Well, Chambers are much more than that. In fact, the Greenville Chamber is currently involved with 40 Upstate schools, impacting the lives of students and teachers every day through the Chamber's Carolina First Center for Excellence (CFCE) program.

The CFCE was formed in 2001 with the vision of providing every K-12 student in the Upstate with a "Quality" education. In 2002, CFCE introduced our Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) strategies, the same strategies which are presented to several Fortune 500 companies such as Lockheed, Fluor, GE, and Caterpillar, among many others.

Through CQI strategies, CFCE students learn about the importance of integrity, high performance and strong ethical behavior—all Quality traits necessary in the 21st Century workplace. Upstate students have become more responsible for their learning, better critical thinkers and improved problem solvers. Our students are equipped with skills that prepare them for the next quiz, test, grade and on beyond school into life and the working world. As the workforce begins to shift its emphasis from labor to knowledge, it is vital to the success of our students that our education adapts accordingly.
For an example of the work our CFCE teachers are doing, see video below. Photos are available to the right.
Click here to view a complete listing of all the schools participating in the Chamber's CFCE program. For more information, contact Chamber CFCE Manager Tami Miller by e-mail or by phone, 864-239-3743.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chamber Sets 2009 Goals

Historians already are looking at 2008 as a year similar to 1984 or 1969: A historic year that will be remembered for many milestones, triumphs, defeats, and change in the American psyche.

Greenville, too, saw much of the same in 2008. But, not a community to look backwards, the community and the Greenville Chamber are looking to 2009 to make a significant difference. Here are some of the main strategic goals that were implemented.

Community Prosperity:

Knowing how important it is to the economic health of the region, the Chamber places great influence on raising the per capita income, that is how much employees earn because of increased employer production. Chamber staff will issues related to drivers of per capita income and get volunteers involved to increase community prosperity.

The Chamber will continue leading in the region’s entrepreneurial development by expanding entrepreneurial support throughout Clemson, Pendleton and Anderson; it will increase demand for occupancy at the NEXT Innovation Center (entrepreneurial center on Church Street); and, it will promote development of entrepreneurial, high tech businesses in the Upstate by developing a six-week summer program.

Voice of Business:
In addition to continuing to represent Upstate businesses by pushing the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda, the Chamber’s political action committee will be fully funded, the Chamber will implement a fight against a bill that promotes unions, and the Chamber will support the formation of an Upstate Caucus.

Knowing that Greenville can only become a premier place in the world to do business through collaborative efforts, the Chamber has in its goals for 2009 to develop a small business portal, which will serve Greenville’s small businesses through client service, public advocacy, and infrastructure development. It will also work to provide leadership development programs for businesses, youth, and community leaders.

Quality of Life:

Education and workforce development are vital to the region’s economic potential for prosperity. That is why for 2009 the Chamber has set out to facilitated the convening of community organizations for the purpose of elevating education to a top priority for Greenville; it is charged with increasing its participating schools in its Carolina First Center of Excellence; it will develop a plan to increase the number of adults with advanced education; and, it will develop a plan to position business community to lead the development of workforce strategies.

The Chamber will also work to attract a low fare air carrier to Greenville/Spartanburg Airport and seek additional flights from legacy carriers.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 864-242-1050 or visit its web site at