This week marked a significant stride for the Dallas-Fort Worth region's business landscape as the Fort Worth Chamber (FWC) and the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) co-hosted a trip to Washington D.C. The mission was clear: meet with the regional federal delegation, federal policy experts, and diplomats to advocate for pro-growth policies that will bolster the economic development of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This bi-annual event, jointly presented by Lockheed Martin, is part of a strategic initiative held every other year to foster dialogue and drive legislative action benefitting the region. 


A focal point of the discussions was the critical role of education and workforce development in sustaining the economic vitality of the region. The chambers emphasized the need to enhance the North Texas region's talent pipeline through initiatives such as apprenticeships and accessible childcare, highlighting the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) as a key enabler of workforce participation, which directly impacts economic growth. 

Conversations also covered the importance of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Pell Grant expansion for short-term workforce training programs, addressing the "middle skills" gap in Texas. The delegation advocated for the reauthorization of WIOA to align workforce development programs with the needs of job seekers and employers, emphasizing the necessity of these programs in a post-COVID landscape. 

Infrastructure was another major topic, with a focus on the need for a durable strategy to modernize essential infrastructure without raising taxes on businesses. The chambers discussed the critical role of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act and the Highway Formula Fairness Act, crucial for ensuring continued support for infrastructure projects that are vital for the region's growth. 


The trip included briefings and discussions with influential figures such as Sean Mason, Deputy Director of the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations; Susan Harper, Consul General of Canada in Dallas; and The Honorable Margaret Spellings, CEO of the Bi-Partisan Policy Center. Meetings with Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, along with representatives from various federal departments like Transportation, Energy, Health and Human Services, Education, and Commerce, underscored the comprehensive advocacy strategy. 

Participants also engaged with members of Congress through targeted visits to Capitol Hill, discussing strategic legislation such as the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act and the Stronger Workforce for America Act, aiming to extend the reach and effectiveness of federal programs like Pell Grants and WIOA. 

This significant advocacy effort was supported by several key sponsors, demonstrating the strong community and business backing for the chambers' initiatives. Lockheed Martin served as the presenting sponsor, with major contributions from gold sponsors including American Airlines, Boeing, Toyota, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Additional support came from silver sponsors Axxess, Fidelity Investments, Southwest Airlines, and West Coast University Texas, all of whom played a crucial role in the success of the trip. 

This event between the Fort Worth and Dallas Regional Chambers exemplifies a unified approach to regional advocacy, highlighting the importance of collaboration in driving significant policy changes. By presenting a concerted front, the chambers are not only enhancing their influence at the federal level but are also setting a precedent for how regional organizations can work together to advance mutual interests and foster sustainable economic growth. 

This initiative is just one of many ways the Fort Worth Chamber, alongside its partners, continues to lead, engage, and advocate for the prosperity of one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, ensuring it remains a thriving hub for business and innovation. 

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