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Thu, Oct. 17

Chamber board wants Chino Valley job fair

The Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors wants the chamber to sponsor a job fair in Chino Valley next year.

That was one of the goals the board set at its recent annual retreat.

The board also wants Ab Jackson, chamber CEO, to see if the chamber can create a Chino Valley Economic Development website to provide developers with potential sites and information.

Chamber President Charlie Arnold said the board also wants to look at how the chamber can help the town bring well-paying jobs to Chino Valley.

Another goal the board set, Arnold said, was to build regional relations in the quad-city communities.

And for the second year in a row, the board set the chamber's new members goal at 100.

Arnold said 13 of the 15 board members made the retreat, which was a traveling one.

This year, at Arnold's suggestion, the chamber boarded a shuttle donated by Prescott Transit Authority to visit the places they were talking about.

Arnold said that after meeting at the chamber office, the group's first stop was at Vicky's Carnicerie. From there, the group traveled to Yavapai College's Career and Technical Education Center at the Prescott Airport. While in transit, Arnold said Jackson reviewed with the group the previous year's economic development activity. He also was able to show the board some of the vacant buildings and land available for development.

Jackson also reminded the board of the help the chamber provided in getting the fire sprinkler provisions in the code changed and mentioned examples of businesses that could benefit from it.

At the airport, Jackson explained to the board the airport's importance to Chino Valley now and in the future.

The group next traveled to Yavapai College's Chino Valley Campus and got a look at Old Home Manor. Next, the board drove by the Aquatic Center before heading to the Bonn-Fire Chillin' 'N Grillin' restaurant for lunch.

There, Jackson gave a short presentation on the chamber's goals in economic development, which deals with business recruitment, retention, leakage (the "shop locally" program), and development.

He also talked about the contract the chamber signed with the town. He said eventually he'd like to see the leadership training classes he provides to the town evolve into Chino Valley's Leadership Academy like other communities have.

Next, Mayor Jim Bunker addressed the board. This was Bunker's first chance to meet with the board since becoming mayor. He also joined the board for its first afternoon stop at the new Days Inn motel. Arnold said the board was very impressed with the motel.

Jackson also pointed out the opportunities the town now has with the opening of the motel.

The board then paid a visit to the new manager of Alco Discount Store before making its final stop of the day at Granite Creek Vineyards, which Jackson said is one of the town's true assets.

Arnold said all of the board members left the retreat knowing something new about the town they'd never known before.

Jackson said, "We've gotten as much positive feedback (from the board on this) than on anything we've done in the chamber in the three years I've been here."

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