Register today for the 2012 HR Conference!

The 2012 HR Conference is scheduled for October 4th-5th and is quickly approaching. This year’s event will be held at the Charleston Marriott Town Center, and will cover an array of HR related topics that can directly affect your business. The keynote address for this year’s event will be provided by Margaret Morford. Margaret is an international consultant on HR related issues, has written two books, and is oft-quoted in several major media outlets. Don’t miss the chance to hear this exciting speaker while acquiring knowledge that will help you and your business. A full agenda can be viewed here. If you have not yet registered for this event, you can do so now by clicking here. For hotel reservations, call the Charleston Marriott Town Center at 1-800-228-9290 or 304-345-6500. The code for the room block is CBNO and the discounted rate is available until September 20th. We look forward to seeing you at the beginning of October!

Remembering 9/11

The West Virginia Chamber honors all those protecting our nation and remembers those affected by the attacks on 9/11. Never Forget.

As the nation looks back to the events of September 11, 2001, let us all take a moment to grieve the losses and remember the bravery, courage and humanity of those who rushed to the aid of those in need on that tragic day. September 11th is known as the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce thanks all service men and women for their constant commitment to serve and protect our country. Please join with us in remembrance of the lives that have been forever changed.

Upcoming Chamber Events

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has several exciting events lined up for the coming months. From August 29th-31st the Chamber will host the 76th Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier. This year’s agenda is packed with many dynamic speakers who are leaders in government and business, as well as several symposia focusing on education, manufacturing, technology, and the bio-medical field. Attendees will also be briefed on decisions handed down by the West Virginia Supreme Court and how those decisions will affect their business. Our attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with business and industry leaders from across West Virginia. This is especially true this year as we are on pace for near record attendance. If you are a member of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and you have not yet registered, click here to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

The next major event planned is the Human Resources Conference. This year’s conference will be held at the Charleston Marriott Town Center from October 4th-5th. Attendees to this conference will receive the most up-to-date information on human resources issues their business may face and how best to handle them.

Last but not least, the most recent Human Resources Journal is now hot off the press. This version of the journal focuses on issues related to discipline and discharge of an employee and provides excellent articles by attorneys who are well-versed in the subject. This journal provides employers important tips to make sure they are protected from legal action. To obtain a copy, please contact Jane Thomas at (304) 342-1115.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

Helping Out Our Fellow West Virginians

West Virginians have always been noted for being a proud people that come together in the face of a natural disaster. Last week, the citizens of our state were once again put to the test when a storm called a “derecho” rolled through the state, knocking out power to over 90% of West Virginians. To make matters worse, temperatures were at record highs, with most days exceeding 100 degrees. What happened next would be surprising in most parts of the country, but was pleasantly expected here. People came together. Food drives were organized, cooling stations were set up, neighbors with power offered a place in their homes to friends and family without, and people went to work repairing the damage so that life could return to normal.

The morning after the storm, Karen Kane, a reporter for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was traveling through the state with her family on return from vacation. Nearly becoming stranded due to gas stations being offline, Karen and her family’s trip was made a little easier by the good citizens of West Virginia who readily offered assistance. Her account of the wonderful hospitality afforded her by the residents of our state can be read here.

It has been over a week since the storm rolled through, and power has been restored to most parts of the state. Damage assessments are continuing and life is returning to normal. There is one critical pace where we can all still help. The Mountaineer Food Bank and the Huntington Area Food Bank were hit hard by the lack of power and the large influx of people needing food. Many of our fellow citizens depend on these food banks as a means of sustenance. Let’s rally together on this need in a big way and be sure to continue assisting our fellow citizens by donating food to help those in need. Thank you.

For more information on how to help out, visit the Mountaineer Food Bank and/or the Huntington Area Food Bank.

Happy Birthday West Virginia!

On June 20th, 1863, in the midst of the American Civil War, the 35th state of the United States was born. Created during a period of immense turmoil and uncertainty, West Virginia has developed a rich history and culture that is unique to only this part of the country.

Many Americans think of West Virginia and think only of coal and mountains. West Virginians think of those as well, as they play a powerful role in defining our state, but we also think of the great natural beauty found within our borders, which include not only the vistas, but the people. We think of the many opportunities to get away for the weekend and visit places such as the New River Gorge, Cass Scenic Railroad, and Canaan Valley. We think of how our citizens band together and pull each other through rough times. Most of all, we think of the immense pride our citizens have to be able to call themselves West Virginians.

Happy 149th Birthday West Virginia! Montani Semper Liberi!

Which Nominee Will Support WV?

It has been widely publicized that during the recent West Virginia Democratic Party Convention, a resolution was passed that all Democrats should endorse the entire ticket, including President Obama. Many speakers and attendees urged support for Obama, as it helps other candidates on the ballot, but is this how or why we should choose our Presidential nominee?

Hoppy Kercheval of WV Metro News asked an important question during his June 13 commentary: Why didn’t those at the convention explain why voters should support President Obama in November?

Hoppy is right. What we should be asking in the upcoming election is this: Which Presidential nominee will be supportive of West Virginia’s continued energy production, the backbone of our economy? Which nominee, as President, will enact policies that encourage private sector growth and job creation in West Virginia? We need a recipe that affords our children the opportunity for a good education; improves standard of living through increased employment opportunities; and offers greater opportunity for our future generations. The nominee, Republican or Democrat, that can whip that up, should receive the endorsement of all West Virginians.

The Chamber Seeks Feedback

On June 8, 2012, while speaking at a press conference, President Obama made the statement, “the private sector is doing fine.” President Obama attributed the struggling economy to job losses in local and state government, which he said are the result of cuts by elected officials faced with budget shortfalls.

John R. Lott Jr., a Fox News contributor, discussed the comment from a different point of view, stating that since the recession “private sector employment is down by 4 percent and state- and local-government is down by half that – 2 percent” (Fox News.com) Lott also says, “between 2007 and 2010, annual wages also grew 40 percent faster for state- and local-government workers than for those in the private sector” (Fox News.com)

Lott’s analysis differs from that of President Obama, though the President later explained that he meant, relative to state and local government, the private sector is doing better.

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce would like to gather input from its members. Do you agree with the President’s comments about the private sector? What do you feel is the best method for the Chamber to inform President Obama about how his policies and actions affect business in West Virginia?

Lott, John. “The Private Sector Is Not Doing Fine, Mr. Obama.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 11 June 2012. Web. 12 June 2012. .