Welcome to the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce

BoardMembersThe Culpeper County Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of over 550 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. Our mission is to be the voice of the business community working to promote, build, and support the most effective climate for economic development.

Since it was chartered in 1749, Culpeper County has been an important crossroads for business.  Culpeper’s economy is multifaceted and changing with the times. The County and Town governments along with various agencies and local representatives are working hard to bring and retain business in Culpeper and nurture long-term relationships with local businesses and industries.

Workforce-Ready

By on April 20, 2015

My Facebook feed is filled with posts about the upcoming prom and high school graduation season.  The parental pride, and yes–some anticipatory angst–is evident in the pictures of ‘then and now’ placed alongside college acceptance letters, scholarship award announcements, pictures of military enlistment ceremonies and the like. When I post my congratulatory comments to happily share the moments with the proud parents and grandparents, I fondly reflect back on our daughter’s high school graduation.

And then it hit me…in eleven short years, our seven year old grandson will be making his walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma.  I can visualize that moment with clarity and anticipatory joy, and maybe along with a tad of that angst mentioned above, as I try to imagine what his next steps in life will be, and if he is truly prepared to take them.

woman-446670__180

Clearly, our educational system must ensure that curricula is developed and delivered in such a way that prepares our next generation for successful lives as productive citizens of our community, Commonwealth, and Nation.  In addition to “life-skills” and other mandated instruction, approved learning objectives should be designed to best prepare our students for entry into the workforce, post high school, college, or through the trades/technical training and certification.  Validated learning objectives matched to near and longer-term workforce requirements will optimally prepare our students for a competitive job market today, tomorrow, and well into the future.

Germanna Community College’s Center for Workforce and Community Education recently held their annual workforce advisory meeting in continuance of its support of workforce readiness through educational excellence.  The consistent theme heard throughout the conference was that our graduates need to be “workforce ready” regardless of the selected career path or required level of diploma or certification. This is not an easy task.  Paraphrasing Dr. David Sam, President, Germanna Community College, ‘Smartphone technology did not even exist when the current graduating high school seniors entered our educational system; now some of them are graduating and find themselves in a very competitive information technology jobs market’. Therein lies the challenge: ensuring our educational system remains agile and relevant so as to equip our youth with the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully find not only a good job, but a sustainable career.

Your Chamber of Commerce, the voice of the regional business community, is closely coordinating with our educators to help identify the current and future workforce performance requirements needed to design curricula that will meet the needs of our follow-on generation.  As I participate in these types of discussions, I have visions of a school auditorium, circa 2026; I bet you can picture it as well.  Let’s get behind this effort and help build opportunity for all.

 

Be a Culpeper Local, At CulpeperFest 2015

By on April 13, 2015

by Debbie T. Stohlman, President/CEO debbies@culpeperchamber.com As the days get longer and the temperatures begin to rise, my husband and I start taking day trips.  Its been our tradition since leaving Louisiana all those many years ago. About 10 or

tulip-165008_150

Plant Your Garden

By on April 3, 2015

by Debbie T. Stohlman, President/CEO debbies@culpeperchamber.com   Well friends, I think it is finally spring.  The iceberg-sized block of ice in my driveway has melted away, the grass is growing, and the tulip bulbs I planted last fall are beginning