Butler Eagle Editorial
Chamber News
Monday, January 04 2010 00:00
From the January 4, 2010, edition of The Butler Eagle...

Many Butler County residents hear the name Butler County Chamber of Commerce but don't fully understand what the organization is all about. Most people probably know that it has something to do with businesses, but beyond that their knowledge about the actual workings of the organization is not extensive.

While The Edge, the newsletter of the chamber, is not a publication that reaches the average home, the January publication contains a message that is instructive regarding the organization's mission, goals and, just as important, how far the chamber has come over the past half-decade or so.

The message also stresses the important point that not only is the chamber working for the betterment of county businesses, but it's also working for the betterment of the community at large.

People who recognize the importance of a vibrant business community as it relates to their lives should be pleased to know that the chamber not only is working hard to maintain its status as the leading business organization in the county, with the answers and connections that businesses need. But it also has committed itself to looking into the future so businesses can be at the forefront of whatever innovations and new opportunities come about.

Said another way, the chamber is not standing still, and that's good for county businesses and the people who are dependent upon those businesses' successes [--] probably everyone who lives here. Businesses that have chosen not to become a member should rethink that decision, in light of all that the chamber is attempting to do [--] and what it can do for them.

The message in this month's Edge, written by Stan Kosciuszko, president, contains a thought that is valuable not only to the chamber's mission but also applies to other elements of this county:

"Let's never settle for being what we are, but continue to work towards making it what we should be." With that thought working as the cornerstone for the organization, the chamber is seeking additional ways to reach out to help its members.

Quotes from Kosciuszko's message are instructive regarding how far the organization has come.

"Recognizing that an informed and educated business community will be stronger and more effective, our board established an aggressive schedule of educational seminars and professional skills training," Kosciuszko wrote. "By providing first-class avenues for knowledge and business skills, we elevated our organization to new heights. Through our numerous partnership activities with Butler County Community College and Slippery Rock University, we have expanded member benefits to new heights. Our Legislative Action Committee quickly became the "go to" group for business opinion on numerous issues. A new rapport was developed with local, state and federal legislators, providing an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperative interaction.

"Collaboration has been one of our main accomplishments, as our Chamber realizes that we do not exist in an isolated bubble. Our activities intertwine with numerous other organizations, and that our expertise is not only respected, but can serve as a valuable resource to accomplish regional goals. Our affiliate program is the mainstay of this belief, as we continue to administer and assist Leadership Butler County, Butler Downtown, New Visions for Butler and the Slippery Rock Business Association. Our affiliation with the Butler Human Resource Association has provided unique opportunity to our membership.

"Collaboration on another level has been achieved through our efforts both legislatively and community-based in partnership with the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau, the Community Development Corporation of Butler County and the United Way of Butler County. We have actively maintained participation in the Regional Corridor Alliance and assisted with the Economic Summit. As a member of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Allegheny Conference, we are kept in numerous 'loops' to inform and involve our membership."

This is an era of fast changes in how businesses operate and an era of great challenges not only locally based but from sources hundreds and thousands of miles away.

For Butler County, a vibrant chamber of commerce isn't an option; it's a necessity.

To its credit, the chamber is working hard at being what it should be, the best business organization not only in Butler County, but also in the region. The people of this county should be impressed with what it is trying to do.

- J.R.K.
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