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Gary Laird Graduates from U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

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January 28, 2019
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced Gary Laird, President of the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce graduated from its premier business leadership program. The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.
“The Workforce Fellowship Program introduced me to individuals, organizations, and many best practices in education and workforce development. I plan to use the tools and resources shared through the fellowship to enhance our current business education partnerships, introduce new ideas to enhance existing initiatives and develop new initiatives to support our local employer base.” says Laird.
The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce is the first Chamber in Pennsylvania to sponsor an employer-driven, group-model apprenticeship program through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.   
“As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, the program is designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”
Following a competitive application and selection process, Laird was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the inaugural class. The four-month program, which ended this week, covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development.
Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives. 
Given the overwhelming interest in the program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a second cohort in spring 2019.
For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.

  Emily Freiert
Marketing and Public Relations Director
Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce
(717) 637-6130 ext. 105