Centralia Chamber of Commerce Director speaks at SINA meeting

June 25, 2019

By Tina Suarez

The Southern Illinois Networking Association met at the Centralia Recreation Complex on June 20 at 7 a.m. President Mike Chambers opened the meeting with a prayer and the pledge. He welcomed all members in attendance. Then the membership decided to make a donation to the SPERO golf outing in July.

President Chambers introduced Marcus Holland as the featured speaker. Holland began speaking about the needs of the local businesses. Number one is the workforce.The needs of individuals are, 1) Internet; 2) Third spaces to hang out, work, have meetings, etc.; 3) Density (downtown living, shopping districts and connectivity); 4) Housing (downtown living, rural setting with internet); 5)Public transportation; and 6) Entertainment.
The needs of the community are: 1) Improve perception; 2) Improve the culture of poverty; 3) Increase the tax base; and 4) Decrease crime and drugs.

The next step for the Image Committee is to fine tune the strategic plan, developing goals, budgets and timelines.

The next step for the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce is building the Education Committee to meet the needs of area businesses, working with Kaskaskia College, Centralia High School and grade schools to connect real jobs from real businesses with our future workforce. The Chamber is also in full support of the CEO program (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) in the community. They would also like to see more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) in the schools that are followed-up with internship, apprenticeship and CTE Programs.
Holland said, “We are focused on improving our community and workforce.”

The following are committees of the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce: Education Committee; Area Wide Science Fair; Real World Challenge; Leadership University with Centralia BPW; Balloon Fest in August; Home, Garden and Business Expo in February; Annual Banquet in March; Golf Plae Day in May; Lift off Dance in June; Tourism – City of Centralia; Official Appointment on Search Committee for City Manager; Legislative; Membership – Monthly Luncheons, Monthly Business After Hours, One-on-One meetings; and SCIGA – South Central Illinois Growth Alliance with Kaskaskia College.

The goal of the Image Committee is to target economic development capitalizing on existing quality of life assets while creating a unified identity within the community.

The purpose of the Image Committee is to support the mission of the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce to be a recognized leader for our members and community and to stimulate a healthy business climate through programs and services that strengthen our community as well as directly benefit our members and enhance their business success.

The goals of the Image Committee are numerous. Some of those goals are: 1) To develop a unified marketing effort within Centralia’s stakeholders organizations. 2) To improve the perception of our community. 3) To boost the local economy through marketing. 4) To attract visitors to our community. 5) To encourage families to live and work in the Greater Chamber area.

Next week’s SINA Program will be presented by Pam Chaney. Please contact Tina Suarez at 214-0836 for any questions.