workers wearing yellow safety vests

Hi, I’m Taylor! You may know me from the work we’ve done through the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership, but did you know that I recently transitioned to our existing business support program, Business Retention & Expansion (BRE)? My goal in our BRE program is to celebrate the successes of those in business in Wichita Falls and remove barriers to business that prevent the first part of this sentence from happening.

So what does that mean and how do you do it?

Glad you asked! When I got started at the Chamber, the Talent Partnership program was brand new and therefore had to be developed from the ground up. Transitioning to BRE, our existing business program already existed! Some of the most notable aspects of outreach with this program includes Manufacturers Group, Manufacturer’s Tours, Annual Site Visits, and expansion project management.

Manufacturers Group:

This group has grown over time and represents most of the local manufacturers. Usually once a month, we’ll send out helpful information and vital updates that may affect doing business in our community. It’s a great way to build community and keep everyone informed.

Manufacturers Tours:

Stemming from our aforementioned manufacturers group, these tours allow local representatives to come together in one room to learn about the how and now of other employers nearby, followed up with a walkthrough of the facility. Our interactive tours allowed participants the opportunity to share best practices and find creative solutions to shared challenges that face all manufacturers. Most notably right now? Supply chain and workforce. So far in 2022, we’ve already hosted tours with Covercraft, Vitro Architectural Glass, and Sealed Air and we have another tour in the works for early fall.

Annual Site Visits:

Our goal is to maintain active phone and email communication with our stakeholders on a regular basis, but we also like to dedicate time to visit with them in person at their facility each year as well. This is a great way to survey what is happening day in and day out, as well as identify opportunities to support continued success. Right now, I’m conducting a baseline survey with each of my visits to determine what it’s like to do business in Wichita Falls post-pandemic. We’ll use this information to review trends and advocate for the needs of our collective business voice.

Expansion Project Management:

There’s been a lot of progress with our local stakeholders! We’re seeing more development on the north side of town than we have in recent years and our investment in the Wichita Falls Business Park is already seeing a return. We’ve been serving as the manager of several expansion opportunities happening locally that will bring new payroll, primary jobs, and more sales into our economy. You can’t ask for anything better with BRE!

This is all great, but where are we going next?

As we continue to support expansion and attraction projects in the community, we’ll see the need for continued workforce development, upskilling, improved infrastructure, and equitable quality of life that grows with us. How are we going to ensure this happens? Follow along on as we announce our updated community-wide strategy, Falls Future 2.0, coming out soon!

Have questions about BRE or want to learn more? Feel free to reach out to me by email at Taylor@wichitafallschamber.com. Always happy to share resources and our vision for building a strong community through economic development and business support!

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