June 28, 2021

CEO Message: U.S. Chamber Leading Important Conversations on Equality of Opportunity

Your local Chamber of Commerce receives significant support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We have long worked with them to amplify the voice of Round Rock when advocating on any number of federal issues. The U.S. Chamber was at the forefront of the USMCA, an important modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement and is now leading the charge for an important compromise bill to fund infrastructure.

During the height of the pandemic and economic shut down, the U.S. Chamber provided critical guidance for development of the PPP, CARES Act, and other business support legislation. I’m honored and proud to be a member of the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100.

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber reconvened the business leaders across the country for the Second Equality of Opportunity Summit, which you can watch here. I hope you will take a moment to watch some of the highlights.

Our Chamber participated in the summit, and was a part of the effort last year, attending the first summit which you can view here. At that time, the U.S. Chamber launched an initiative to, “develop real, sustainable solutions to help close race-based opportunity gaps in four areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice.” They developed and maintained an agenda to guide business advocacy based on surveys and curated data to help understand the impacts to business and people. This is also available online at the Equality of Opportunity Data Center.

The Round Rock Chamber has been an active participate with the U.S. Chamber. Last year, we were so fortunate to feature a presentation from Rick Wade, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during our September 2020 (virtual) Power Lunch. Rick is leading much of the U.S. Chamber’s efforts on this important work, and he still made time to talk with our investors and community directly. Of course, the business case for valuing diversity and inclusion has long been understood. Diverse teams can better respond to the complexities of modern business needs.

All of central Texas (including Round Rock) is experiencing a boom in economic development as a record number of businesses are exploring making new business investment in our area. This has made workforce and talent development the top consideration for every business. Company leaders view inclusion as an essential effort to expand workforce availability, and many have also demonstrated a believe that it is the right thing to do.

The Round Rock Chamber’s foundational belief statement is, “A strong economy in Round Rock will create new opportunities for business, individuals, and families to achieve greater potential and improve their quality of life.” Central to that belief is the premise that Round Rock can be a place where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can pursue their dreams and provide for themselves and their families. That work begins with programs like the Chamber, working in partnership with the City of Round Rock. However, it also must ensure that the economic opportunities created from this work will be made accessible to all who participate in our economy. With support from the U.S. Chamber we will continue this important work.



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