Make a Difference in Austin
Getting involved with programs you care about connects you to the information and people that will enhance the value of your membership. The Austin Chamber offers current members a range of opportunities to share their expertise and enthusiasm with the community. Build your business relationships as we work together to help our community prosper.
Explore the best volunteer opportunity for you and your company.
Economic Development Council (Open to who invest at least $100,000 into Opportunity Austin)
Goal: The EDC is comprised of the lead investors (those who invest at least $100,000) in Opportunity Austin, the region's economic development strategy to create 117,000 jobs by 2013. The EDC meets every month where they receive reports and updates on prospect activity. Also each EDC member is invited to participate in our marketing missions as well as getting invites to key economic development events.
Target Industry Committee – Corporate HQ
Goal: Committee members are comprised of lead investors ($100,000+) in Opportunity Austin. This particular committee provides input on issues impacting HQ operations in Central Texas.
Target Industry Committee – BioAustin
Goal: Committee members are open for those involved in the Bio / Life Sciences / Medical Device industries. Tiffany Daniels, Director of Business Retention and Expansion is responsible for organizing the Council. The BioAustin Council meets quarterly to discuss issues impacting the industry in central Texas.
Target Industry Committee – Clean Energy
Goal: The Clean Energy Council was established by the Chamber to promote the area's clean energy companies. The CEC meets on a quarterly basis and is open to Chamber members who are interested in making Austin one of the greenest city's in America.
Showcase Austin Committee
Goal: This committee is open to lead investors only in Opportunity Austin. Showcase Austin is our annual signature event where ten to fifteen of the nation's leading site selection consultants are invited to a red-carpet event in Austin, showcasing our great human and natural assets.
Business Retention & Expansion/Technology
By Product Strategy Project
Under the leadership of the US Business Council for Sustainable Development, BPS is the matching of under-valued waste or by-product streams from one facility with potential users at another facility to create new revenues or savings with potential social and environmental benefits.
Sector Industry Group (Clean Tech, Semiconductor, and Advanced Manufacturing)
The clean tech, semiconductor, and advanced manufacturing sectors industry group will pool experts who are working with the Chamber constantly throughout the year on all our efforts in regards to the aforementioned industries to provide guidance, assistance as needed to message the sector needs or "hot button" issues, or opportunities to the Greater Austin Technology Partnership.
Air Services Task Force
The Air Services Task Force engages the business community in assisting the City of Austin, through the Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), in increasing international and domestic air services from the Central Texas region.
Sector Industry Group (Life Science, Biotechnology, Healthcare)
TThe life science, biotech and healthcare sector industry group will serve two purposes: 1.) provide guidance (and assistance as appropriate) in identifying and addressing "hot button" issues affecting Central Texas organizations in the aforementioned industries and 2.) advising the programming activities and initiatives for BioAustin.
BioAustin – BioBash
BioAustin sponsors quarterly networking events for the Central Texas life science community. Attendance is generally between 100 – 140 participants. The programs highlight recent announcements from Central Texas Life Science/Biotech companies, relevant research collaborations and advancements in service offerings for the industry in Central Texas.
The SWAT team convenes twice a year to discuss recent achievements and upcoming announcements from the groups represented. The Chamber's BR&E team reports on its various projects and initiatives, including: Portfolio Austin, CenTex RCIC, BioAustin, Air Services Task Force, and By Product Strategy.
Advocacy: Government Relations Committee
Meets generally once a month
Analyze policy issues at the all levels of government and develop recommendations to the Board on positions that represent the priorities of the Central Texas business community. Committee members organize along interests based on level of government and issue area.
Local Issues Policy Group
Recommendations adopted by the Board become the Chamber's Local Policy Agenda which is the platform for advocacy at the City of Austin and Travis County.
Policy areas include:
- City of Austin Comprehensive Plan
- City of Austin or Travis County bond and charter amendment elections
- Regulatory climate
State Issues Policy Group
Recommendations adopted by the Board become the Chamber's State Legislative Agenda which is the platform for advocacy for the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature.
Policy areas include:
- Clean energy;
- Innovation and emerging technology;
- Economic development; and
- Health Care
Federal Issues Policy Group
Recommendations adopted by the Board become the Chamber's Federal Legislative Agenda which is the platform for advocacy on the annual delegation visit to Washington, DC.
Policy areas include:
- Clean energy;
- Innovation and emerging technology;
- Employer issues; and
- Health Care
Advocacy: Regional Infrastructure
Meets generally on the first Thursday of the month at 4 pm
Meets monthly to hear from experts on projects and policy issues. Develops recommended positions for the Chamber Board on transportation issues. Proactively works to influence transportation policy that supports Opportunity Austin 2.0 objectives and economic vitality.
Policy areas include:
- Long Range Transportation Planning
- Implementation of major projects
- Enhanced transit facilities and service
- State/Federal transportation policies and funding
Education & Talent Development
Education and Talent Development Council (Limited to private sector)
Goal: Enhance capacity of K-12 education systems to graduate academically prepared students; ensure greater numbers and a broader spectrum of students graduate from post-secondary or higher education institutions; and ensure effective talent training programs exist to train or retrain residents for continually evolving employment sector.
Austin Community College Progress Report Card Task Force (Limited to private sector)
Goal: Identify key indicators most important to regional economic growth and talent development; inform Austin business leaders on ACC alignment and progress on the they key indicators most important to regional economic growth and talent development; identify where more rapid performance gains may be needed; highlight areas where the business community and Chamber can provide support to help ensure ACC's continuing success.
College Enrollment Managers Working Group(Limited)
Goal: To provide the best management tools and professional network for Central Texas college enrollment managers to increase the region's direct to college enrollment rate to 64% in 2010.
Community Education Progress Report Card Task Force (Limited to private sector)
Goal: Identify key indicators most associated with preparing students for higher education and employment; examine school district progress on key indicators in order to support strategic planning and identify where more rapid gains may be necessary to achieve the task force purpose and goals to assist the Metro Austin region in effectively participating in the global economy.
Key Community Sub-Teams:
- Austin ISD
- Bastrop ISD
- Del Valle ISD
- Eanes ISD
- Hays ISD
- Hutto ISD
- Lake Travis ISD
- Leander ISD
- Manor ISD
- Round Rock ISD
- San Marcos ISD
Goal: Promote sound public policy at local and state levels by promoting Chamber policy recommendations as approved for the 2011 legislative agenda. The Education/Talent Department seeks your assistance to:
- Work with Legislature to support funding for Texas public education and higher education, while reducing the impact of capture of local taxpayer funds to balance the state's budget.
- Work with Texas Education Agency to align accreditation in K12 accountability system with student college readiness.
- Work with Legislature to align college readiness with state $550 million TEXAS Grant financial aid program.
Task Force on Matriculation Financial Aid Subcommittee (Limited)
Goal: Increase financial aid application submission rates by 7.5% for Q1 2009 compared to Q1 2008 from 10 target school districts in Metro Austin.
Task Force on Matriculation Financial Aid Marketing Subcommittee
Goal: Identify and execute marketing plan to increase financial aid application submission rates by 7.5% for Q1 2009 compared to Q1 2008 from 10 target school districts in Metro Austin.
Financial Aid Community Outreach
Goal: Assist college enrollment managers with community outreach by placing phone calls to students and parents/guardians to inform them of the importance of completing the FAFSA and the free, personal assistance available during the 'Financial Aid Saturdays', ultimately encourage them to attend at least one event.
Financial Aid Saturdays
Goal: Increase financial aid application submission rates by 7.5% for Q1 2009 compared to Q1 2008 from 10 target school districts in Metro Austin. Financial Aid Saturday volunteers will provide integral technical support to students and families with filling out their college financial aid forms. Training provided.
Austin Partners in Education (APIE) College Readiness Program
Goal: Execute on plan to increase 15% annually college-ready. College Readiness volunteers will guide small collaborative study groups of 3-4 students grouped by their specific academic needs to prepare for college entrance exams at select Austin ISD high schools. For more info, contact Veronica Cavazos, APIE College Readiness Program Coordinator at email@example.com or 512. 637.0985 or visit www.austinpartners.org
Foundation Communities – Community Tax Centers
Goal: Assist hard-working low income families with tax preparation and ensure they get the maximum tax return they are eligible for. Training provided. For more info, contact Jackie Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.communitytaxcenters.org.
Goal: Participate in Skillpoint Alliance's Annual College & Career Fair which provides an opportunity for thousands of juniors and seniors from regional high schools to explore career opportunities as well as obtain information on postsecondary education. The next fair is scheduled for October 7, 2010. For more info, contact Margo Dover, Executive Director, email@example.com, 512.323.6773 or visit www.skillpointalliance.org.
Goal: To provide input and direction for the Chamber's marketing/advertising campaign; attend a membership meeting with a member upon request and availability; provide input on ideas/topics/speakers for the general membership luncheons; serve as a host/moderator for a Member Orientation and/or Coffee & Connections upon request and availability; work with Chamber staff on various accounts to see if you can assist in making a warm introduction/open a door for a potential sale, etc. Time Commitment: Meets monthly.
Goal: To serve as the welcome arm of the Chamber, to welcome new members and promote member involvement.
Time Commitment: Meeting monthly from January to December along with personal visits to new members on a monthly basis; applications accepted on a rolling basis. Time Commitment: Meets once a month with scheduled new member visits throughout the month.
Ribbon Cutting Committee
Goal: As a subcommittee of the Ambassador Committee, the Ribbon Cutting Committee serves as the host of member ribbon cuttings and volunteer point person for the member businesses. Time Commitment: Attend ribbon cuttings as scheduled (several per month).
Business Awards Nominations Committee
Goal: To assist with bringing in nominations for the Chamber's annual Business Awards event. The group, which consists of members covering a wide variety of industries, reaches out to contacts in the business community in an effort to ensure all award categories are well represented in the nomination process. Open to all members. Time Commitment: Meets as needed in preparation for annual event.
Business Awards Judges Committee
Goal: To assist in evaluating all of the nominations the Chamber receives for its annual Business Awards event. The committee is each tasked with reviewing the received nomination forms for a particular award category. Open to all members. Time Commitment: Meets as needed in preparation for annual event.
According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are 27.2 million small businesses operating in America.