ADVOCACY

The Advocates: Productive Federal Partnerships

WRITTEN BY lclark 1 month ago

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This week I had the privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C. for a busy day of meetings at agencies and on the Hill. I flew home tired, but full of pride after witnessing firsthand the important partnerships our Chamber has built at the federal level. Three of these partnerships were on full display during our trip.

The timing of our trip was based on testifying to the Federal Salary Council in support of establishing a locality pay rate for the Charleston-North Charleston MSA.

Like private-sector employers, federal agencies compete for talent in Charleston’s fast-growing market. Unlike private-sector employers, they do not have authority to maintain a competitive wage position, particularly in light of rapidly rising housing prices. Many struggle to recruit and retain key staff and a locality pay rate would help remedy the situation.

By collaborating to present up-to-date economic and workforce data to the Federal Salary Council, our Chamber helped secure a vote to review the current methodology for determining locality pay. This is a promising step for federal employers in our region. Read more from Federal News Radio.

You probably know that our region is home to Joint Base Charleston and more than 40 separate military commands with more than 13,000 uniformed service members representing all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. What you may not know is that more than 4,000 civilian federal employees are also critical to executing the missions at Joint Base Charleston.

Advocacy work that supports recruitment and retention of critical talent strengthens the relationship between the community and military, which helps ensure that the Charleston region maintains the strong military and federal footprint for years to come. That’s good news considering the military has a $10.8 billion economic impact on our region. Learn more about the Economic Impact of South Carolina’s Military Community.

Besides offering testimony, our trip included productive visits with staff from Senator Lindsey Graham’s and Senator Tim Scott’s offices to discuss the omnibus spending bill, trade regulation and infrastructure projects. Both teams expressed sincere appreciation for the long-standing partnership that they have with our Chamber and shared their ongoing need for on-the-ground intel and support that can only come from the regional business community.

Productive partnerships like these are critical to making an impact at the Federal level and are vital to our success as a region.

From left to right: Glenn Jeffries, Corporate Communications Chief, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Lisa Metheney, Deputy District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Ian Scott, Senior Vice President, Business Advocacy, Charleston Metro Chamber, Erica Wright, Regional Advocacy Director, Charleston Metro Chamber; seated: Scott Isaacks, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


 
Erica Wright,
CMCC Regional Advocacy Director

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