College and Chamber Enjoy Strong Partnership


ESCC and the ESVA Chamber Share Local Focus on Business

Eastern Shore Community College and the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce are not only closely aligned on Lankford Highway in Melfa, but also aligned in their mission of serving, promoting, and connecting the businesses and communities of the Shore.

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce Office is next door to ESCC in Melfa, VA.

As the Chamber Board of Directors felt so strongly to have Education as one of the ad-hoc committees, ESCC President Dr. Jim Shaeffer has joined the group as the committee chair and is contributing to the effort of keeping abreast of local business needs and how they can best be served.

A current effort by the committee is a “Workforce Needs Survey” that has been submitted to the Shore business community.  This query gauges a range of subjects developed to help both the chamber and the college work towards meeting these needs.  The outcome of this survey will culminate on May 1st with a “Workforce Summit” being held on campus at the ESCC Workforce Development Services Center.

Advocating for local businesses and their success again melds the goals of the Chamber and ESCC. The survey and summit bring together the right elements to focus on the immediate and long-term needs of Shore businesses.

ESCC is working to expand program offerings with industry specific skill sets that are responsive to the Shore’s economy, mindful of long term career pathways for all students.  These pathways must answer the question of “what’s next?” 

Successful programs are being driven by local business needs.

Proactive training and resources for the Shore are already coming to fruition with the success of the Apprentice Medical Scribe program that reached capacity in its first offering this February.  The Workforce Development class is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth and indicative of what can result from the input and collaborative efforts that the college and chamber are encouraging.

Other examples of past Chamber/College partnerships have included courses in hospitality, food safety, and the extremely successful CDL and Tractor Trailer Training.

The Shore’s local business community has strong advocates in ESCC and the Chamber of Commerce.  The dialogue that can continue from these current efforts can affect the lives and direction of upcoming students and shape an even healthier and prosperous economic picture for our Eastern Shore.

ESCC President Dr. Jim Shaeffer elaborated on the Chamber-College partnership saying “One of the important missions for the ESVA Chamber and the Eastern Shore Community College is to partner with business and industry to determine their workforce needs and then build programming to meet their needs.  We couldn’t have a better partner to work with in finding workforce development solutions that the ESVA Chamber.”

More details are available at and, or call 757-789-1789 (ESCC) and 757-787-2460 (Chamber).