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Market

In today's economy, the business community must be proactive; seeking out new, innovative opportunities to prosper. The Chamber is here to help get the word out and market your business.

Develop

Staying ahead of the competition is getting harder every day. The Chamber is here to help you develop your skills and understanding of the evolving marketplace.

Connect

Reaching out to the right audience is part of doing business. The Chamber is here to help you connect your business through networking and events.

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News Updates

  • Fourth of July Hours for the Chamber

    Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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    The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce will be closing at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 and will be closed all day on Friday, July 3. We hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July! 

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  • 5 Ways Volunteering Volunteer Can Help You Find A Job and Advance Your Career

    Wednesday, 01 July 2015

    By: April Greene, Idealist.org

    "Many people are wondering how to get involved in volunteering, with good reason: Now is the perfect time to commit energy to help others, get involved with something you feel passionate about, and often meet new people.

    But volunteering can bring other benefits, too—one being a great boost for your career. Here’s how volunteering can help you thrive.

    You expand your personal and professional networks

    People already working in your target field are great sources of information about job openings, affinity organizations, and people you should meet. And if you have a good experience volunteering, your supervisor might serve as a reference when you’re applying to jobs.

    You learn new and transferable skills

    Volunteering will help you develop new job skills as well as apply current skills in new ways. For example, a mid-career professional who has worked in concert promotions could use her marketing skills to help an organization with their fundraising or other mission-based events. A college student accustomed to doing research for school assignments could volunteer to research an issue or demographic for a nonprofit.

    For inspiration about what skills you might share and an overview of some organizations’ current needs, peruse our information about volunteering in the United States or abroad, and search volunteer opportunities around the world.

    It’s an opportunity for career exploration

    Volunteering allows you to try on different organizations, roles, issues, etc., without job-hopping. Of course, volunteering isn’t the same as being on staff, but it can expose you to the work of an organization in a deeper way than becoming a member, following it on Twitter, or even conducting an informational interview with an employee.

    Want more inspiration? Read how two people turned their volunteer experiences into full-time jobs.

    Click here to read the full article!

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  • Welcome New Members!

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    Please welcome the following new members who have joined the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber. Be sure to introduce yourself at upcoming events!

    - Hope Energy Group

    - New Leaf Group, LLC

    Mick Butler State Farm Insurance

    - Maddalone & Associates

    - Integrated Tissue Dynamics

    LaSalle Institute

    Christopher Brian Salon

    - Adirondack Technical Solutions

    - ATSCO  

    American Cancer Society, Inc. Eastern Division

    - Rensselaer Honda

    - Combined Insurance

    Sandler Training

    Informz

    - The Asphalt Doctor

    Saratoga National Bank

    If you're a future member interested in joining, or you're a member who knows of a great prospective member, please contact the Chamber at 518.274.7020.

     

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  • Good For The World, Good For You

    Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    By: Mark Horoszowski, HuffingtonPost.com
     

    Finding and earning your dream job is no easy journey, but it turns out that doing good for the world might be your golden ticket.  Over the past few years, we've spoken with hundreds of volunteers, hiring managers, recruiters, and career coaches to explore the theory that volunteering can help people get their dream job in any sector: public, private, or non-profit. We've complimented our qualitative stories with quantitative research to show that volunteering helps you at all the main steps of your career path: Identifying your passions and career calling; Building critical skills and making your resume stand out; Helping you ace the interview and hiring process.Infographic-volunteering-and-your-career-149x1024

    Our team is incredibly eager to show this research as it represents a true win-win: Some of the biggest challenges facing this earth are skills-related challenges, meanwhile people benefit by contributing their skills to global issues.

    In summary, our research shows that people should be pickier about the way they engage in volunteering by making sure their time and talents are actually needed - not just their physical presence. In fact, we found that volunteers are more engaged, deliver more value to organizations, and stay longer if they donate their real talents as opposed to their muscles. In doing so, they also tend to experience "career enlightenment".

    However, there appears to be a right and wrong way to both volunteer AND communicate your experience on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter. The following infographic shows you why and how volunteering your skills, especially on a dedicated project like an international volunteering trip, can help you find and get your dream job. It is also full of useful tips about how to choose a project and how to talk about your volunteer experience during the interview process for public, private, or governmental jobs.

    Click here to read the full article and find out how volunteering can help you identify your dream job and improve your resume!

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  • Membership Survey

    Tuesday, 09 June 2015

    As we prepare for our Strategic Planning sessions with the Chamber's board of directors in July, we ask that you please take a moment to answer the following questions about the Chamber. We value your input and appreciate your participation. 

    Click here to take the survey.

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  • Small Business, Job Creation, And Why We Should Lend To Young Companies

    Wednesday, 17 June 2015

    By: Ty Kiisel, Forbes.com

    Any honest conversation about creating jobs in the United States must include the role played by small business. Collectively, these businesses create the lion’s share of new jobs. The current SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet regularly argues that two out of every three new jobs are created there. So when Experian approached me with a new study that explored the impact of small businesses (particularly startups), on our economy and what we could do to encourage more job creation, they had my attention.

    As one of the three biggest business and personal credit reporting bureaus, I consider Experian’s advice and perspective very relevant to this conversation. I recently spoke with Peter Bolin, Experian Director of Consulting and Analytics, to talk about the research. When they dived into the data they found that small businesses and startups really do have a direct impact on job creation in the United States. They focused on the 2010 class of startups and looked at the resilience of the overall US economic recovery and how these businesses have performed in the four years since they opened their doors.

    It’s probably no surprise that as the economy improved, so did these young businesses. What might be a surprise is Bolin’s assertion that these 2010 startup businesses are driving the recovery. As unemployment has come down, it looks like small business has had a big role to play in the decline.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • The Simple Rules of Disciplined Innovation

    Wednesday, 03 June 2015

    by Donald Sull, McKinsey&Company

    When it comes to innovation, the single most common piece of advice may be to “think outside the box.” Constraints, according to this view, are the enemy of creativity because they sap intrinsic motivation and limit possibilities.

    Sophisticated innovators, however, have long recognized that constraints spur and guide innovation. Attempting to innovate without boundaries overwhelms people with options and ignores established practices, such as agile programming, that have been shown to enhance innovation. Without guidelines to structure the interactions, members of a complex organization or ecosystem struggle to coordinate their innovative activities.

    How, then, can organizations embrace a more disciplined approach to innovation? One productive approach is to apply a few simple rules to key steps in the innovation process. Simple rules add just enough structure to help organizations avoid the stifling bureaucracy of too many rules and the chaos of none at all. By imposing constraints on themselves, individuals, teams, and organizations can spark creativity and channel it along the desired trajectory. Instead of trying to think outside the wrong box, you can use simple rules to draw the right box and innovate within it.

    Simple rules cannot, of course, guarantee successful innovation—no tool can. Innovation creates novel products, processes, or business models that generate economic value. Trying anything new inevitably entails experimentation and failure. Simple rules, however, add discipline to the process to boost efficiency and increase the odds that the resulting innovations will create value.

    Click here for the full article.

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  • Troy Downtown Parking Management Survey

    Tuesday, 02 June 2015

    The City of Troy, in cooperation with downtown stakeholders, is conducting a Downtown Parking Management Study.  At this early stage of the study, we are asking the public to share their views on parking issues.  The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.  Your responses are important and will be kept confidential.  The results of this survey will be made available to the public and utilized in formulating parking recommendations for the downtown.

    Click here to take the survey.

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  • Increase Creativity In Your Business, Unless Everything's Perfect

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015

    By Homaira Kabir, Forbes.com

    Managing a business is a balancing act between creativity and structure. Too much of the first and the business is immersed in chaos. Too much of the second and it becomes mired in rigidity. Staying right atop that fine line where everything is perfect often becomes the illusive goal.

    Ah, but beware the false promises of perfection! Effective management is not about the futile pursuit of a mirage, for no such fine line exists. Instead, it is about the flexibility of flowing harmoniously between creativity and structure, like the yin and yang, for therein lies the secret to growth and success.

    It is tricky of course. Process is always easier to implement because it has structure, and can even get over-bearing as the business grows. Creativity, on the other hand, is seen as an elusive entity that a few lucky businesses possess while the rest wish that they did. Standing on the side lines waiting for the creative spirit to blossom or a nouveau idea to emerge is a risk that can spell disaster in our times of accelerating change.

    There is good news though. Studies show that the most creative companies follow a very systematic process to nurture creativity and capture the best ideas. Here are the steps you can take to increase creativity in your company – unless everything’s perfect!

    Click here to read the full article.

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  • CEO Succession Starts With Developing Your Leaders

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    By: Åsa Björnberg and Claudio Fese, McKinsey & Company

    Two-thirds of US public and private companies still admit that they have no formal CEO succession plan in place, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors last year. And only one-third of the executives who told headhunter Korn Ferry this year that their companies do have such a program were satisfied with the outcome. These figures are alarming. CEO succession planning is a critical process that many companies either neglect or get wrong. While choosing a CEO is unambiguously the board’s responsibility, the incumbent CEO has a critical leadership role to play in preparing and developing candidates—just as any manager worth his or her salt will worry about grooming a successor.

    An ongoing process

    Many companies treat the CEO succession as a one-off event triggered by the abrupt departure of the old CEO rather than a structured process. The succession is therefore often reactive, divorced from the wider system of leadership development and talent management. This approach has significant risks: potentially good candidates may not have sufficient time or encouragement to work on areas for improvement, unpolished talent could be overlooked, and companies may gain a damaging reputation for not developing their management ranks.

    Ideally, succession planning should be a multiyear structured process tied to leadership development. The CEO succession then becomes the result of initiatives that actively develop potential candidates. For instance, the chairman of one Asian company appointed three potential CEOs to the position of co-chief operating officer, rotating them over a two-year period through key leadership roles in sales, operations, and R&D. One of the three subsequently dropped out, leaving two in competition for the top post.

    Click here to read the full article.

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