Your Investment – Southwest Alaska's Economy and Communities
The primary reason to invest in SWAMC is to express your interest, commitment and support to ensure a vibrant, sustainable economy and strong, healthy communities in Southwest Alaska. SWAMC's municipal and associate members vote on a variety of governance, advocacy, and program issues at regular membership meetings. Members use SWAMC as a forum for sharing information on issues critical to the region. SWAMC members also receive the following ongoing benefits:
- Advocacy on Regional Issues: SWAMC provides a mechanism to speak as a unified voice on issues important to the region. Through resolutions and other advocacy strategies, SWAMC advances the positions that support its core mission and support the collective interests of its members. Reoccuring advocacy topics include transportation and infrastructure development (multi-modal), value-added fisheries, small business development, energy, ferry access, and other economic development topics, including improved fisheries data collection.
- Regional Economic Planning: SWAMC publishes the Southwest Alaska Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and other research on the regional economy. Members receive advance notice of research findings, as well as annual CEDS updates.
- Elect Board Members: Board members are elected by members at the annual meeting based on sub-regional caucuses for the Aleutian/Pribilofs, Bristol Bay, and Kodiak. Two at-large associate seats are elected by an open vote of the members.
- Serve on Committees: Active, ongoing committees include Fisheries; Infrastructure; Energy; and Legislative. Additional ad-hoc committees and work groups, such as Tourism, serve as other opportunities to participate as a SWAMC member.
- Economic Summit and Membership Meeting: This important annual event serves as a forum for important economic and community development issues as well as organizational governance and membership business. Members receive discounted registration.
- Tourism Promotion: SWAMC promotes Alaska's Southwest as a visitor destination through planning efforts and promotional strategies including publishing brochures and maintaining our website's community database. Staff members also highlight communities regularly in Tidings, the monthly newsletter. SWAMC is also coordinating with promotional venues to bring better awareness to Southwest Alaska.
- Business Development: From year to year, SWAMC sponsors business development workshops addressing key issues or barriers to starting, expanding, or retaining a business in the region. SWAMC also heads the Business Retention & Expansion program for Southwest Alaska, connecting small businesses with resources and sharing important economic data with the region.
- E-Tidings Newsletter: This publication provides an update on regional issues, SWAMC activities and projects, and other useful news. Members receive the newsletter electronically, and now have the ability to submit upcoming events to be showcased in the newsletter's calendar section. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are used to inform members between issues of the newsletter.
- Community Planning: SWAMC staff can assist those communities with limited resources in community planning activities. Ask about SWAMC's Community Planning Policy and how it can work for your community.
- Funding Alerts: SWAMC regularly reviews federal, state, and private funding sources. E-mail funding alerts can forwarded to members on request based on their stated interests.
- Quality of Life Index: SWAMC introduced the Southwest Alaska Quality of Life Index in 2005. The report compares the region with other regions and state averages. Over time, the index will provide a useful tool benchmarking progress on key community and economic development indicators.