I’ve had an exciting few months as my husband and I have been adjusting to our new community in Wichita Falls, Texas. When I began at the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce I hit the ground running with the Talent Partnership catalyst. To kickstart this catalyst, the Action Team targeted a few great initiatives we could get up and running relatively quickly.

These include business support, the Military Spouse Professional Network, and internships.

Military Round Table Luncheon _ August 2019
Chamber CEO Henry Florsheim, Director of Business Intelligence Adrene Wike, Col. Spencer T. Van Meter, Talent Partnership Director Taylor Davis, Col. Russell Driggers, Hiring Our Heroes Marnie Holder

Working closely with Travis Haggard, our Vice President of Business Retention and Expansion, I’ve been able to speak one-on-one with businesses about their workforce goals and challenges. With these conversations, I’ve done my best to apply the knowledge I possess about talent recruitment and retention to offer encouragement and recommendations on ways to move forward.

I’ve heard real-world stories about what’s gone right and what could’ve gone better. These conversations have been inspirational in shaping the direction we will be going in the future.

Another huge success is the launch of our Military Spouse Professional Network with the help of Adrene Wike, our Director of Business Intelligence. This national Hiring Our Heroes program backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation includes a Facebook and LinkedIn group specific to military spouses, past and present, at Sheppard AFB and in Wichita Falls, TX.

While connecting our career-oriented military spouses together through these groups, we’ll also be offering monthly professional development programming to support their growth. This can include networking, LinkedIn help, resume and cover letter writing, co-working space and more! We’re excited to host our official launch event at B Cocoa Artisan Chocolates, a military spouse-owned business, in October.

Lastly, I’ve been working diligently on writing a “how-to” guide for employers to establish their own internship program. This inclusive document addresses the benefits of hiring interns, the considerations to make before starting the process and everything they need to know from start to finish. This will be a collaborative effort with our Talent Partnership Action Team and local area educators and businesses.

We’ve made a lot of headway, but we have even more to achieve! Thanks for going on this journey with us.