Laird Attending Business Leads Fellowship Program

Chamber President, Gary Laird, has been accepted into the US Chamber’s Business Leads Fellowship Program.

The program consists of two separate, three-day intensive workshops that focus on the history, policy, and programming on topics spanning the education pipeline including early education, K-12, college and career readiness, post-secondary education, and workforce development. The workshops are taught by expert faculty as well as staff from state and local chambers who have put policy into practice to bring change and opportunity to their communities.

The first workshop, focusing on early education, K-12, and career readiness, was held in New Orleans on September 19-21, 2018. The second workshop will be held on January 16-18, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ and will complete the rest of the talent pipeline, including higher education, workforce development, and upskilling and reskilling.

Laird plans to implement the information he learns at the program into the chamber’s apprenticeship program.

The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce was the first chamber in Pennsylvania to submit a Chamber Apprenticeship Model that has been approved by the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Through the apprenticeship program, high school students have the opportunity to begin as a pre-apprentice in their junior year, with the program structured around their high school curriculum and work within one of the participating companies. Upon graduation, the student has the opportunity to complete a paid apprenticeship within the company.

The apprenticeship program is part of a greater workforce development initiative by the Hanover Chamber, in collaboration with local partners in business and education.  Noting the need for a talented and competitive workforce, the chamber began implementing strategies to educate and develop the future workforce over 15 years ago.

Over the past 12 months, the apprenticeship program has received approximately $200,000 in grants from the state of Pennsylvania. Grant monies have been allocated to business partners and local school districts to pay for training and equipment purchases.

To get involved in the Hanover Chamber Apprenticeship Program, please contact Gary Laird at