2018 Legislative Update at Mountaintop

Thank you for your interest in the 2018 Annual Legislative Update. The event is full! 

The 2018 Cashiers Area Chamber Annual Legislative Update to be held Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 11:30a.m. at Mountiantop Golf & Lake Club. Special Guest, Jackson County General Manager, Don Adams will present an update on Jackson County government's 2018 strategic priorities and how these issues will impact the Cashiers Area. 

Thank you to our Sponsor, Landmark Realty Group

Landmark RE VR CMYK 2017 Small

Tourism Resource Assistance Center coming to the region!

Calling all tourism-related business members!

Wednesday Apr. 11, tourism-related businesses in the region will have an opportunity to meet with Visit North Carolina staff to learn about its research, development and marketing services, and discuss best practices in reaching travelers, the media and increasing tourism visitation and spending. Visit North Carolina's Tourism Resource Assistance Center (TRAC), a community-based training program designed to help small tourism-related businesses, will be held at Lake Junaluska’s Harrell Center Auditorium from 10am – 2pm.

There is no charge to attend, no reservation is required, and there are no PowerPoint presentations. This is a come-when-you-can/stay-as-long-as-you'd-like event opportunity for all tourism-related businesses to meet one-on-one with program managers to discuss better ways to promote their property or event. TRAC brings Visit North Carolina's program managers to local communities to discuss the nuts and bolts of working with the organization. This invaluable program is designed to help tourism-related businesses engage more fully with programs offered by Visit North Carolina and its partners.

Representatives from the EDPNC's, N.C. Dept. of Commerce, N.C. Dept. of Natural & Cultural Resources, GotToBe NC Agri-Tourism, NC Green Travel, NC State Parks and Haywood County Small Business Center will also be on hand to discuss services they can provide businesses, including strategic planning, assisting with identifying funding sources and serving as liaisons with other local, state and federal agencies.

Call North Carolina's Tourism Resource Assistance Center for more information at (919) 447-7771. 

Local Businesses & Regional Leaders Tackle Workforce Development

Cashiers, NC/High Hampton Resort – Representatives from western North Carolina state and local government and Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College met Thursday with Cashiers Area business leaders during a workforce development summit sponsored by the Cashiers Area Chamber and Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. 

With a focus on the tourism industry, which generates nearly $190 million annually to the county’s economy, the twenty four participants discussed the complex issue and how to improve recruitment, housing, training and retention of qualified seasonal and year-round employees.

Attendees were welcomed by Stephanie Edwards, Executive Director of the Cashiers Area Chamber, and Tom Garcia, General Manager of High Hampton Resort, where the meeting was held.  JCTDA Director Nick Breedlove facilitated a panel of tourism business representatives including Sydneye Trudics, of High Hampton Resort, Sarah Jennings of Lonesome Valley/Canyon Kitchen and Mary Lanning, of Hampton Inn & Suites Cashiers/Sapphire.

“We believe that things get accomplished through synergistic partnerships and innovative thought, so we’ve assembled your talent, expertise and experience today to help the Cashiers Area tourism industry and our community at large,” Edwards said. 

Topics of concern included available and affordable housing, the size of the local labor pool, needed job skills, industry career opportunities and generational interests and expectations.  Resources discussed included programming through NC Works/North Carolina Department of Commerce, WCU and SWCC student services, Appalachian Regional Commission, Southwestern Commission Region A, Land of Sky Regional Council and Jackson County.

Edwards noted the Chamber represents more than 400 members and has identified workforce development as a priority strategic initiative because it is critical to the area’s economic sustainability and tourism industry success. High Hampton Resort’s expansion to 12-month operations and the recently-funded Horsepasture Wastewater Treatment Project will both be catalysts for a “seismic shift” in the Plateau’s development potential she explained.  “Now, accommodations, restaurants, retailers and other businesses, whose growth has been stymied in the past can launch or expand, creating year-round jobs and enhancing the visitor experience,” she said.

The Chamber currently sponsors an online jobs board (CashiersAreaJobs.com) and annual job fair (to be held 10 to noon on April 14, 2018 at the Albert Carlton Cashiers Community Library) and keeps the workforce dialogue front and center among stakeholders to connect need with resources.

“We’ve been talking about these issues in our own organizations for some time. The Workforce Summit brought everyone to the same table and we saw a lot of great conversation and trading of ideas with an open, collaborative spirit. It brought a greater clarity to the challenges we face and placed them front and center to our resource providers present –education, workforce development, regional planning groups, county government and the state employment office,” said Breedlove. “With an understanding of the challenges, it’s my hope that the awareness and dialogue we started opens the door to solutions,” he concluded.

Regional Workforce Developments

A recent Jackson County and Cashiers Area Chamber Workforce Summit hosted at High Hampton Resort in Cashiers brought together area representatives in hospitality, education, housing, transportation and more to tackle issues revolving around regional workforce development, recruitment and retention. Organizations and institutions continue to combine efforts to promote the areas opportunities in varied industries. The Cashiers Area Chamber is enthusiastic about local and regional efforts to encourage action and will continue to advocate workforce development as a key priority in our mountain communities. Regional efforts are detailed below.

CashiersAreaJobs.com | Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce

Cashiers Area Job Fair | Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce

Mountain Area Careers | Mountain Area Workforce Development Board


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