Talent development, recruitment and retention are key to our economic growth.
The Chamber has focused efforts on nurturing existing talent programs, developing new ways to connect current and future leaders, and participating in solutions to regional workforce issues.
Leadership Owensboro is a large part of our strategy to develop and connect leaders for the future of Greater Owensboro. This Chamber talent program continues to cultivate leaders and expose them to challenges and opportunities in our community. Our goal for class members is that they graduate with a clear plan on how they can make Owensboro a better place.
Last week, our 2021 Class spent a day with an extensive schedule learning about our community history, with stories how Greater Owensboro has a knack of coming together to make seemingly impossible things happen in our small city. The list is long.
Presenters also gave a snapshot of data indicators assessing everything from population growth, wages, education levels, workforce participation rate, etc.
This year, one of our presenters was Leadership Owensboro Curriculum Committee member Madison Silvert, President of the Malcolm Bryant Corporation, who started a discussion with an anonymous poll of the class participants.
Silvert posed the statement “I am happy with the direction my community is going,” to which the class was asked to agree or disagree anonymously. More than 90% of class members — regardless if they were from Owensboro or transplants to the area — were happy with the direction our community is going.
This was an encouraging exercise. You could see the pride in the faces of class members from Owensboro when they heard that their fellow classmates, some who had only been living here a short time, are happy here. And those who had moved here were genuinely excited about the direction our community is headed.
But make no mistake, there is no complacency in this group. Class members are in the program this year because they want to learn areas where they can make a positive impact. There is a commitment to seize a very real pre-COVID community momentum and to make sure we keep it going and continue forward.
Last year’s graduates are already making new impacts in places to which they had never been exposed until Leadership Owensboro. They are engaged, and they are making a concerted difference.
Positive change and community mindedness are alive in Owensboro. And seeing so many individuals committed to keeping it going gives us hope here at the Chamber that the best is yet to come.