Committees

Contractors Business Development Group

Purpose: To allow area contractors to network, exchange contact numbers and learn of new or existing projects.

Membership: Must be a member of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce

Meetings: The second Wednesday of every month.

Chairman: Travis Woods

Staff Liaison: Paige Snyder

Since its inception, two years ago, the Contractors business development group has grown from, the original, 10 members to 70. The monthly meetings draw from 60 to 150 attending.

The McDermott/Total Refinery project report had an attendance of 250 contractors. In August Exxon Mobil reported on their new project and 180 contractors attended.  
years. 

These meetings highlighted the need for a Reverse Trade Show. In September the Greater Port Arthur Chamber, with volunteers from the CBDG, organized a Reverse Trade show at the Bob Bowers Civic Center, in Port Arthur. There were 9 sponsoring industries, including Motiva, BASF, Total, Valero and McDermott, attracted 150 area contractors to share information on how to become a certified vendor. Fifteen other contractors set up booths.
This made it easy for our contractors to meet the procurement folks from the plants. 
Aside from providing, our contractors access to new projects, the group generates new members for the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.


LEGISLATIVE –Governmental Affairs Committee

Purpose: Works to monitor, analyze, and develop recommendations on legislative issues affecting the local business community.

Membership: Must be a member of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce

Meetings: 2-4 per year and on an “As Needed” to address legislative issues as they develop.

Chairman: Tonya Moses

Staff Liaison: Bill McCoy  

The Governmental Affairs Committee focuses on state and local issues to help businesses. Businesses pay two thirds of the tax revenue collected by the state.  An integral goal is to see that an adequate percentage of the tax revenue that is collected locally is returned to support our infrastructure and thereby support our industry and its workforce. 

The Chamber presents an opportunity to represent the business perspective.  This can often shed light on poorly conceived legislative proposals that can have devastating and long-lasting effects not only on industry and trickles down to their suppliers, the workforce and all the other businesses that provide support products and services.

In January 2019 Texas’ 86th legislative session commences.  We are diligently working to see that our area businesses and their issues are represented.  In furtherance of this goal biennially we travel to Austin for Golden Triangle Days.  This event will be held on Tuesday February 12, 2019.   With that end in mind, we met with Representative Dade Phelan, held a teleconference with Representative Joe Deshotel, and hosted Congressman Randy Weber at our annual Legislative Luncheon. 

Currently we are making strides in constructing a legislative agenda that adequately addresses our local needs and concern.  The agenda will be finalized over the next couple of months.  At that point we can refocus our attention on our marketing efforts to the state legislators.  Senator Carl Parker has agreed to mentor our group for increased legislative participation in Golden Triangle Days.  

Our area legislators have asked for our support in making our local issues known.  At present the state is directing a considerable percentage of their discretionary spending toward school security and funding for behavioral health treatment.  These issues are of import, however, with proper backing from the state, our area will be able to provide for much of our own recovery from Hurricane Harvey.  Congressman Weber has stepped forward and is making plans to attend Golden Triangle Days in Austin to add his perspective on the issues.  In addition, we have also been in contract with Senator Ted Cruz and invited his participation in this event as well. 

The Governmental and Public Affairs Committee of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce allows us the opportunity to fulfil our vision of being a unified voice and economic catalyst that ignites partnerships for the business community, local governments, legislative representatives, educational opportunity, so that we can positively impact the growth and development of the Port Arthur community and the region.  Working together as a team and appropriately addressing legislation we can achieve a sound economic environment and quality of life for the entire community.

 

AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

Purpose: Retain, Promote and Grow Chamber Membership

Membership: Must be a member of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce

Meetings: The second Tuesday of every month.

Chairman: Paige Snyder

Staff Liaison: Paige Snyder

The Ambassador Program is a unique group composed of community leaders that assistants in membership retention, builds the chamber by telling their story, bridges the gap between member and chamber relations and most importantly generates new members for the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. The ambassadors have an opportunity to bring community attention to the chamber and to their own businesses, while at the same time enhancing the public relations and communication efforts of the Chamber.

Membership retention is a continuing goal of this program. Every month the Ambassadors email, call or visit the new members of the Chamber and encourage them to have a ribbon cutting, attend events and listen to the member’s needs.  They also encourage dropped members to rejoin the Chamber by telling them what opportunities they have missed. 

Every month the committee selects a business of the month. Once the business is chosen the Ambassadors schedule a meeting and make a plaque presentation. The business chosen is recognized on the Chamber website, at the Chamber banquet, at the Small Business Development Center’s annual Small Business of the Year banquet.


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE COMMITTEE

Purpose: To develop skills necessary to have a better educated and better trained workforce.

Membership: Lamar State College Port Arthur, Texas Workforce, Member Staffing Agencies

Meetings: Quarterly/90 Days before the Semester Ends

Chairperson: Adriane Champaign/Tomara Anderson

Staff Liaison: Joe Tant

The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce has created a Workforce Development Initiative Committee. This program trains job seekers on techniques and skills that are necessary for compiling a resume, developing interviewing skills, general Human Resource Instruction, Accounting Principles, Networking/Social Media Awareness, and overall office techniques.

Our interns are trained on various skills that are needed to secure gainful employment. Currently the chamber has a 76.2% success rate in either placing our interns into the workforce or having them register for college.

kEY ELEMENTS OF THE COURSE INITIATIVE INCLUDE:

Resume - What to include/ exclude???

TOP TEN QUESTIONS TO BE PREPARED TO ANSWER DURING A JOB INTERVIEW

THE PITFALLS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

PROFESSIONALISM -WHAT IS THAT?

PREPARING TO SUCCEED BEFORE AND AFTER THE INTERVIEW

Sharpening your quickbooks and accounting skills

HR 101 development


THE PORT ARTHUR EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Purpose: The Mission of the Port Arthur Education Foundation is to enhance academic excellence in Port Arthur Public Schools by supporting innovative educational projects.

Membership: There are no member, only board members and sponsors.

Meetings: Every 4th Tuesday of the Month at 3:00 P.M. in the Chamber Board Room

Chairperson: Barbara Phillips-President

Staff Liaison: Joe Tant

 

The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce has been committed to both enhancing and expanding businesses in the Port Arthur area for over a century.  To ensure that our members have a sustainable workforce for the future, the Chamber is committed to supporting Port Arthur public schools and Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

In 2013, the Chamber approached the Port Arthur Public School Foundation about combining our collective efforts in supporting Port Arthur schools into one organization, which would consist of business, industry and community leaders.  The Board and membership of the Port Arthur Education Foundation have a long history of assisting teachers and school campuses by recognizing innovative projects through annual Teacher Grants and recognizing the Top Students each year at the Stars Banquet.  The Port Arthur Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a result of this partnership.  The mission of the Port Arthur Education Foundation is to enhance academic excellence in Port Arthur Public Schools by building partnerships with local businesses, community, alumni, and educators to raise funds and encourage support for Foundation projects.  The Chamber and Education Foundation are both proud to sponsor and support the Students, Teachers, and Staff of Port Arthur Public Schools. To date, thanks to ours sponsors, the Foundation has disbursed over $541,750.79 for Educational Programs to Port Arthur Independent School District, Sabine Pass ISD, and Lamar State College Port Arthur.

 

Hispanic Business Council          

Purpose: To integrate our Hispanic Business Partners into the Chamber by providing Business Mentorship and Leadership Support.

Membership: Must be a member of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce

Meetings: The first Thursday of every month at 3:30 P.M.

Chairman: Luciana Paulise

Staff Liaison: Raquel Ochoa

 

The Greater Port Arthur Hispanic Business Council was formed in August of 2017 with existing members of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. Currently, we have gained 26 new members and now host 47 members of the HBC.  We will continue working to keep our current members and bring new members to the Chamber.  Our core mission is to unify the Hispanic Business Community, promote local economic growth, provide business mentorship, leadership development, and establish community outreach throughout Port Arthur and Southeast Texas. Since its inception the GPACCHBC has sponsored training sessions, a business mixer and hosted the Golden Pass LNG Golf Tournament.

 

TRANSPORTATION Committee

Purpose: Works with the City of Port Arthur, Port of Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas Department of Transportation and other stakeholders to identify transportation infrastructure needs within Port Arthur.

Membership: Open to members and non-members interested in regional transportation.

Meetings: 2-4 per year and on an “As Needed” to address issues as they develop.

Chairman: Ron Arceneaux

Staff Liaison: Bill McCoy

The Transportation Committee focuses on state and local issues concerning the planning and funding of future road, rail, shipping, and air transportation projects for Port Arthur and the region.    

The Chamber presents an opportunity to represent the business perspective related to movement of cargo, services and safety with respect to our transportation network.  The Chamber makes recommendations to the City of Port Arthur and TxDOT with respect to future highway and urban connector projects. In January 2019 Texas’ 86th legislative session commences.  We are diligently working to see that our area transportation issues are represented.  In furtherance of this goal biennially we travel to Austin for Golden Triangle Days.  This event will be held on Tuesday February 12, 2019.  We will coordinate with our local delegation and state and local representatives to ensure that transportation needs, and funding are addressed.

 

Currently we are making strides in constructing a legislative agenda that adequately addresses our local needs and concerns.  The agenda will be finalized over the next couple of months.  At that point we can refocus our attention to prepare our transportation presentation to legislators.    

In the recent past, the Transportation Committee met with City and TxDOT representatives to recommend fifteen (15) projects designed tom improve safety, mobility and movement of products.  They included:

  • US 69/SH73 Cloverleaf Interchange
  • Frontage roads on US 69 and SH 73
  • Illumination of US 69 from FM 365 to SH 73
  • Improve US 69/FM 365 Intersection
  • Illuminate FM 365 from West Port Arthur Road to Twin City Hwy.
  • Reconstruct Gulfway Drive (SH 87) from US 69 to SH 82
  • Extend Jimmy Johnson Blvd to West Port Arthur Rd. (Spur 93)
  • Reconstruct SH 87 from Sabine Pass to High Island
  • Widen Jade Avenue from FM 365 to SH 73
  • Widen Stadium Rd from Lewis Dr. to Procter St.
  • Elevate SH 87/73 from Veterans Memorial Bridge to Hurricane Levee

TxDOT is currently preparing schematic designs for a new interchange at US 69/SH 73 Cloverleaf to replace the 50+ year interchange.  Early estimates predict a construction cost of approximately $40 Million.  TxDOT is currently installing illumination on US 69.  The Sabine-Neches Canal Deepening Project has been approved and is awaiting funding.  The Jack Brooks Regional Airport is in construction to improve Runways and Taxiways. 

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE:

Purpose: To increase new membership while providing value added services to our current members

Membership: Members of the Chamber

Meetings: Quarterly

Chairman: Ron Fletcher

Staff Liaison: Paige Snyder

The Membership Committee focuses on new members and membership retention through communicating the benefits of becoming or remaining a Greater Port Arthur (GPA) Chamber member. The committee will contact potential new members in partnership with the Chamber’s Ambassadors. The Membership Committee’s also as an aggressive program focusing membership retention through the delivery of informative programs and community updates from key city, county and business leaders such as the Breakfast and Lunch Leadership events.

Potential new members are sold through the Contractors Business Development Group, the Hispanic Business Group and the Young Emerging Leaders Group. These chamber sponsored programs attract potential new members using a one-time offer of open attendance.  At these meetings information is collected and follow-up visits to attract these members to the chamber.

Potential new members will be identified through a marketing database. The committee will strategically determine the most likely candidates and communicate with them about the many events and benefits of the GPA Chamber. This database will be updated at least every six to twelve months for new potential members. The committee will also continue to market to dropped members in an effort to get them re-activated as members.

New and re-joined members are recognized at each Board of Directors’ meeting, and all events.  Members, that have dropped, are discussed at each board meeting and, board members having a relationship with a member, about to be dropped, or dropped are asked to reach out to that Chamber member to see how we can influence this business to stay on with the Greater Port Arthur Chamber. Additionally, the Membership Committee sends out surveys to new members as well as dropped members for their feedback to better understand their needs and to continue to improve on current programs while looking for more value-added services. The directors are asked to send a personal thank you note to new members for joining the GPA Chamber.

 

YEL – YOUNG EMERGING LEADERS

Purpose:  Identify, engage and connect like-minded individuals and offer them training in leadership and community involvement.

Membership: Art Thomas, Fred Vernon Ron Fletcher

Participants: Citizens within the ages of 21 - 40

Meetings: As needed to complete the goal. Times will vary due to subject matter.

Chairman: Fred Vernon

Staff Liaison: Bill McCoy

The vision of The Young Emerging Leaders (YEL) chapter is to create unique experience and opportunities for their members. The leadership team will seek to identify, engage, and connect like-minded individuals and recruit them to the organization to enhance YEL’s presence and impact in the community. The committee is currently putting together a 12-month event calendar and budget.  Here are some of events they will be focusing on are as follow:

  • Process and Procedures of City and County Government
  • How to Start a business
  • How to raise capital vis debt and equity
  • Entrepreneurship

The Greater Port Arthur Young Emerging Leaders is an organization dedicated to the professional growth, education, and development of emerging leaders in Port Arthur and the Golden Triangle Area’s. Their annual dues range from $100.00 per year and $50.00 per year for student members, this rate will cover a member for 1 year.