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Business summit to replace annual Chamber retreat this year
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This year’s annual Effingham Chamber of Commerce retreat is taking a different approach — and will be in a different locale.

The Chamber will hold a business summit Aug. 18 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at New Ebenezer Retreat Center. The annual retreat has been held in the Golden Isles and for the last several years has been held at the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island.

“We’re finalizing plans for the business summit, which will take the place of the annual retreat,” said Chamber Executive Director Rick Lott.

The Chamber surveyed its membership last year and the three topics that topped the answers were transportation, workforce development and the need for a larger meeting venue.

Lott said the community business leaders saw a “clear need” for improving the county’s transportation and for workforce development. The Chamber has a workforce development committee. The Chamber’s recent job fair drew 200 jobseekers.

Chelsey McNicoll of the Effingham Industrial Development Authority said Georgia Transformers is looking to expand, adding 100 workers this year and 100 more next year. The company also be will working with Georgia Tech-Savannah and will conduct training with Savannah Technical College.

The Coastal Workforce Investment Board, which has a one-stop center in Springfield, is expected to open a location in Rincon soon.

The summit will try to identify where a large meeting space, capable of accommodating 300-500 people, can be obtained.

“We’ll look at ways to encourage the building of a larger space and look at our existing inventory,” Lott said.