Congratulations to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities team and all of their partners and sponsors who organized Retool ’22: A Climate Technology Conference for Manufacturers, held in Jamestown last week. The presentations were informative and stimulating. Topics included technical and engineering resources, supply chain opportunities, transportation innovations, economic development opportunities, training and labor resources, financial resources, etc. . Speakers came from across the country, with vendors from the United States and Canada to demonstrate how they can help businesses.
Keynote speaker Clint Wilder, an acclaimed author on cleantech industries and trends, opened the conference with an overview of how quickly zero-emissions technology is advancing. Dennis Elsenbeck, Head of Energy and Sustainability at Phillips Lytle, introduced the closing session with a focus on economic development opportunities. As the conference focused on new technologies, the two touched on the old adage in business that you either get ahead or fall behind. Between these two keynotes, attendees had a myriad of sessions and networking events where they learned about regional and national innovations and made vital business connections.
As conference attendees were immersed in it all, they also learned about Chautauqua County and what we have to offer here: economically and recreationally. Many had never been here before, and some had been to the area but never explored what downtown Jamestown had to offer in terms of attractions, shopping, and dining. So many conversations started with, “I didn’t know all of this was here” and closed with, “I will come back and bring my family.” There were rave reviews for the hotel rooms, restaurants, National Comedy Center and Northwest Arena where the event took place. There were also rave reviews for the people and organization of the event.
The Gebbie Foundation, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, and the Chamber of Commerce have had discussions in the past with Meeting Planners International about how best to attract conferences to the community. From the beginning of the planning for this conference, the intention was to hold it in downtown Jamestown. To do this, there were hurdles to overcome, including questions about facilities, parking, accommodation, and how to incorporate local businesses into the program. From our perspective, all of these issues were handled perfectly, from the thoughtful use of local businesses to the provision of parking permits and shuttles. There are certainly lessons to be learned from this event, not just for Jamestown but for any communities in Chautauqua County that have the potential to attract conventions or larger scale programs.
The conference was just one project of a three-year grant to BPU from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a major economic development initiative called RetoolWNY. Other initiatives are a regional manufacturing study that explored climate tech/clean tech manufacturing, an advanced building control workforce development program slated to start at Jamestown Community College in the spring, and opportunities for up to ten in-depth analyzes for regional manufacturers considering products. lines for the cleantech sector.
CHAMBER SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR COALITION BUILDING AWARDS
Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce recognizes the spirit of our first President with the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award. Pam was a countywide leader with a knack for bringing people and organizations together to achieve economic goals for all. This award recognizes a local person who has worked hard to bring groups of people together around a common goal or objective. It is given to an individual who has helped move the region forward in a positive direction through collaboration and partnership building. The award is particularly focused on those who have done their job consistently and often in the background. A typical recipient may be an “unsung hero” in the community. The Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award includes a $500 stipend to a charity of the recipient’s choice. Our Board of Directors will be accepting nominations until November 4 and the award will be presented at the Chamber’s annual meeting to be held on December 2. Send emails, including a short narrative explaining why you are nominating someone, to [email protected] by November 4. .
JOIN THE CHAMBER FOR AFTER HOURS AT TWO UPCOMING EVENTS
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has two more networking opportunities coming this fall: October 27 at 21 Brix Winery on West Main Road in Portland and November 8 at the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood.
Networking is crucial for business people, regardless of where they work. When you get to know others on a personal and professional level, you increase sales opportunities and potentially increase your supply chain, workforce, and more. The Chamber’s Business After Hours events are deliberately held in various locations around the county and designed for business people to show up quickly after their day’s work from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., meet people and enjoy a drink and a snack. ‘a quick snack, then go to dinner or go home afterwards. Chamber member companies can send two people at no cost, and non-members or anyone above the first two pay only $10 per person. Admission includes finger foods, a cash bar, a chance to win door prizes when you submit your business card, and great networking opportunities with other local business people.
Business After Hours at 21 Brix is sponsored by 21 Brix Winery, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, DFT Communications, Media One Radio Group, National Grid, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Business After Hours at Southern Tier Brewing is sponsored by Southern Tier Brewing Company, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, DFT Communications, LaBella Associates, Media One Radio Group, National Grid, OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Space is limited at Southern Tier Brewing, so there will be a blackout for this event. We recommend that you register early. Learn more or register for either or both online through the Chamber’s web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.