2018 Holiday Social

Join us for a night to remember!

Annual Holiday Social
Wednesday, December 12
5-8 pm
Fireside Inn and Suites, West Lebanon

We’ll honor the Business of the Year, Omer & Bob’s, and Lebanon Citizen of the Year, Frank Gould, and celebrate the season in style with live music and great food. Purchase your tickets here or contact the Chamber at (603) 448-1203.

Holiday Social Tickets

Finding Employees in Challenging Times

It is becoming harder and harder to find employees for open jobs in the Upper Valley. Businesses are placing ads for job openings and getting very little interest. Or worse yet, they are getting applicants that are just not qualified, competent or interested in actually working. It is a time of historically low unemployment, combined with a housing shortage and an aging workforce. This means that companies face an intense shortage of qualified help. Listed below are some ideas we have collected to share with our members for addressing this issue. If you have an idea to include in this list, please contact us at the Chamber.

  • Hire retirees and elderly people back into the workforce
  • Bus employees to and from work from other areas
  • Advertise further out (i.e., other regions) to attract employees from elsewhere
  • Partner with schools (i.e., RVCC, HACTC, LHS, etc.) to promote job entry after graduation
  • Create internships and job shadow programs for students to connect with you
  • Provide housing (or housing support) as an employee benefit
  • Hire relatives of existing employees
  • Offer flexibility in work schedule
  • Offer “tele-commute” options
  • Offer a signing bonus, offer elevated wages and/or creative fringe benefits
  • Improve employee retention programs to trim the loss of existing employees (cheaper to retain vs. recruit, a conservation model)
  • Offer referral bonus to existing employees for new hires
  • Host job fairs and actively recruit new talent through myriad methods
  • Use social media to cast a wide net for recruiting awareness
  • Offer free job training to potential new hires
  • Hire foreign workers through special visa/green card programs
  • Market your company as a great place to work. Be creative when telling your story.
  • Speed up your hiring process, don’t miss out on talent due to delays in the on-boarding process
  • Outsource key roles to professional firms and/or staffing agencies
  • Hire people with traditional barriers to employment (i.e., disability, criminal record, homelessness, recovered addicts, etc.)
  • Survey existing employees to find out why they took your job and why they stay. Collect data about your company/organization to be well informed
  • Be part of the solution. Work with other employers and the local Chamber of Commerce to advocate for collective remedies

Join us for our Annual Meeting the morning of Thursday, October 4, to discuss and brainstorm additional solutions!

Annual Meeting and Workforce Strength Seminar

Featuring a special look at employee recruitment and retention in the Lebanon Area
Thursday, October 4
7:30 am – 11:00 am
Fireside Inn and Suites, West Lebanon

Keynote speaker: Chris Forman, Founder and CEO of StartWire and Appcast, on keeping the best employees in place.

Panel discussions: 

  • Share your needs and concerns for tomorrow’s workforce with area educators. Panelists include Doug Heavisides of Hartford Area Career and Technology Center and Daniel Osborn, Coordinator of Workforce Development of River Valley Community College.
  • How employee health and community wellness can effect productivity and retention. Featuring Donlan Wade, co-founder of Headrest and current LADC in private practice.

Breakfast and coffee included. $20 members; $25 non-members. Register online today!

Chris Forman

Chris Forman founded and launched a number of businesses headquartered in the Upper Valley.   Previously he was CEO of AIRS, a Wilder company, specializing in employee-search software that was acquired in 2008 by Ohio-based The RightThing. Chris remained with the company as Chief Development Officer until the company was sold to ADP in 2011. Currently he is the Founder and CEO of two businesses headquartered in Lebanon, StartWire and Appcast, launched in 2011 and 2014 respectively. StartWire developed and provides technology to deliver job seekers automatic status updates about the applications they submit via the internet. It is America’s #1 job search organizer with over 5.8+ million members. Chris and his wife, Angela Toms, MD, have been residents of the Upper Valley for over 25 years and have four children ranging in age from 10 to 21 years of age.

Request for Proposals

Background: The City of Lebanon, NH, in conjunction with the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, is seeking sealed proposals for the creation of a series videos to promote Lebanon, NH and the Upper Valley region as a thriving economy that is a desirable place to live, work, shop and play. These videos will mainly be seen online via desktop and laptop computers as well as via handheld devices, such as cell phones and tablets. They may be used in presentations or written to media for efficient dissemination.

Project Requirements: A total of six video productions will be created, comprised of five 3-5 minute videos that will showcase each of the following subjects:

  1. The technology and manufacturing economy of Lebanon and the Upper Valley
  2. The recreational opportunities of Lebanon and the surrounding area
  3. Retail options big and small, see them all
  4. What we love about the area (man on the street) #foundinleb, #foundintheuv
  5. The Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce; “Your business is our business” and also will include one 8-10 minute video overview that incorporates portions of the above segment videos into a cohesive presentation of Lebanon as a great place to live, shop, work, play and start a business.

These videos are to be hosted by the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director, who will also generate the scripts for the videos and assist with various aspects of production. The selected vendor will be responsible for video shoots and audio recording as well as pre and post production work for this project. These include but are not limited to; lighting, various video and sound production (including B roll), video editing and video upload/output to the LACC and/or Lebanon City YouTube sites.

Proposals should include; Name, address, phone number, and email for a point of contact for the vendor, previous work samples (or links to online content), a description of the equipment such as the hardware and software to be used. Proposals should also include: a fixed pricing quote for the project as outlined above, plus an hourly rate for any additional work to be added to the scope of work and a delivery date not to exceed 2 months from the date of a contract award.

Proposals should be delivered in a sealed envelope marked “VIDEO RFP” to the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director Rob Taylor at PO Box 97, Lebanon, NH 03766 no later than 9/3/2018 at 10:00 am (RFP opening).
Questions and requests for clarification should be directed to the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director Rob Taylor at PO Box 97, Lebanon, NH 03766. He can be reached via telephone at 603-448-1203 or by email at rob@lebanonchamber.com.

The Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce reserves the right to reject any and all proposals. The Chamber looks forward to reviewing your proposal.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESPONSES TO RFP Procurement information, including responses to RFPs, shall be a public record to the extent provided in NH RSA 91-A (Right-to-Know Law) and shall be available to the public as provided in such statute. Should a bidder or offeror contend that their proposal or a portion thereof contains confidential information, they should clearly identify which portion of their proposal should be treated as confidential and state the reason why it is confidential citing to the applicable provision(s) of the State of NH RSA 91-A and decisions interpreting the statute. Bidders or offerors shall not make blanket assertions that the entirety of their submission is confidential. The City reserves the right, within the parameters of the statute, to determine that an item does not meet the appropriate criteria to be considered a confidential item and will so inform the bidder or offeror in writing of its determination.

Three Generations Grow Greens for Three Tomatoes

Robert Meyers, owner of Three Tomatoes Trattoria on the Green in Lebanon, loves food, loves gardening, and loves his family. He and his wife of 36 years, Phyllis, have combined all three of those passions in a mini-farm or large garden at their home in North Bridgewater, VT.

In recent years Robert got most of the produce for his restaurant from Blue Ox Farm in Enfield. He and Steve Fulton worked out a plan so that the farm would have adequate supplies of lettuce, greens, root crops, peppers and cherry tomatoes in season. But then Steve moved off to Finland, and Robert needed a new source of produce.

Enter Phyllis. For decades Phyllis has had a large family garden and also grown some salad greens and specialty vegetables to supplement produce at Three Tomatoes. She and her two daughters, Nika and Phebe, were movers and shakers with the Change the World Kids, an independent, teen-run, Vermont nonprofit. That program has a food justice initiative that grows food for soup kitchens and food pantries, as well as efforts that provide tens of thousands of hours of help to local individuals and have an international environment component in Costa Rica. But Phyllis had never supplied a sustained produce harvest to Three Tomatoes until last year.

This summer 3 generations of the family are working to produce food for Three Tomatoes Trattoria: Phyllis and Robert, along with their son Lani, daughter Nika, and grandson Luscian, age four and a half, all work in the garden. Lani also works in the kitchen at Three Tomatoes, and Nika in the front of the house, when she is not long-distance hiking. Luscian has a small garden of his own, specializing in edible Johnny Jump-Up flowers.

As Lani explained, growing the food you cook with adds another dimension: “I know everything about the food before I cook with it. I have total control over that dish.” Lani likes to use things like beebalm and daylily blossoms in some dishes, too.
For Robert, growing the food is relaxing. “Meditation is part of gardening from soil to harvest – including weeding. I’ve become a Master Weeder. If you keep on it, you don’t have to work too hard.”

The garden produces mainly greens for the restaurant. According to Phyllis, they grow at least 60 kinds of greens, including European dandelions, 18 different kinds of Romaine lettuce, 7 types of Batavian, along with another 20 kinds of both bibb and leaf lettuce. She packs up an average of 9 crates of greens each week for Three Tomatoes. “I love this garden because I love how it looks, I love the tapestry of colors, and I love that it has given my family the skills it has, and the sense of food justice,” Phyllis said. It is important to her that all people, everywhere, have access to healthy, nutritious food – hence her 20-plus years of involvement with Change the World Kids.

Three Tomatoes Trattoria tries to get as much food as possible, from local farmers. This garden takes it one step further. The salad you have there at dinner may have flowers or greens in it raised by a little boy who is following in the steps of his dad and grandparents, and for whom gardening is a way of life.

Taxes and Tariffs

The recent Supreme Court ruling on Internet sales tax and trade conflict with Canada and China will affect many Chamber businesses. We’re here to help you with concerns and to let leaders at the local and state level know what you’re thinking. Don’t hesitate to call or email!

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