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    March 23, 2023
    Beth Rhinehart, President & CEO, Bristol Chamber of Commerce
    423-989-4850 | brhinehart@bristolchamber.org
    Amy Shields, Executive Director, ACCE Foundation
    (703) 998-3530 | ashields@acce.org
    One of 11 regions selected for Economic Mobility for Rural Workers
    The Bristol Chamber of Commerce is one of 11 organizations selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Foundation to participate in a new national program. As part of the cohort for Economic Mobility for Rural Workers, the Bristol Chamber will receive training and support to implement a program that helps place low-income, rural learners in good-paying jobs.
    Being selected for this fellowship and national grant program is an incredible opportunity to work with our business, education and community partners to increase economic mobility for our workforce,” said Beth Rhinehart, President & CEO of the Bristol Chamber. Innovative workforce approaches are a top priority for businesses and we are excited to develop a strategic plan that will support more equity for our workforce.”
    The 18-month program is made possible with funding from Ascendium Education Philanthropy. Participants, all of which serve rural communities, will explore and pilot different models that help place low-income, rural learners in well-paid jobs with career mobilitya fundamental component of creating equitable economic growth. They will work with other chambers utilizing similar strategies and receive customized technical assistance. Chambers will also create a strategy to continue their work after the program ends.
    Economic mobility is essential to unlocking broader economic prosperity,” said Sheree Anne Kelly, ACCE’s president & CEO. Chambers of commerce are catalytic leaders ideally suited to address pressing talent challenges and ensure thriving and equitable rural economies.
    Chambers of commerce are uniquely positioned to build and support cross-sector coalitions that create sustained business engagement in education and workforce development. They can support connections between postsecondary education providers, learners and employers to ensure that rural learners have clear pathways to well-paid employment without relocating.

    About the Bristol TN/VA Chamber of Commerce
    Established in 1909 and located in the heart of downtown, the Bristol Chamber of Commerce represents business in Bristol Tennessee, Bristol Virginia and the surrounding Tri-Cities Region. With a mission of Advancing Economic Vitality, the Bristol Chamber holds the prestigious 5-Star Accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce and is the oldest accredited Chamber in Tennessee and the second oldest accredited in Virginia.
    About the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Foundation
    Founded in 1971, the ACCE Foundation provides chamber executives with tools, research, leadership development, and knowledge to be players in shaping the futures of their communities. ACCEF focuses on key areas where business involvement is well-positioned to create lasting impact, including education and talent development, economic and community development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    About the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
    The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) is the professional society supporting the women and men who lead local, regional, statewide and international chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations. Our membership includes more than 1,600 business/civic organizations worldwide. We provide our members with information resources, thought leadership, education programs, original research, benchmarking, retirement security and access to a network of peers.