WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the number of businesses opening in Wichita Falls continues to grow, several young professionals had the chance to talk with District 13 Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry Tuesday about issues affecting them. Both the congressman and those at the meeting recognized the importance of these discussions, not only to get a sense of what’s happening on a local level but also to understand what needs to happen, making sure businesses benefit.
Topics like corporate loopholes, healthcare and election interference were up for discussion.
“Washington has to listen,” Congressman Mac Thornberry said. And so, that’s part of the reason I think the level of interest and involvement from young professionals like these is an encouraging thing.”
Another issue up for discussion was a labor shortage in the area, which is one of the reason’s why Taylor Davis’ position was created within the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s the skills mismatch, the skills gap, lack of pay, lack of benefits, some people just feel like there isn’t as much opportunity to grow,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Talent Partnership Director Taylor Davis said.
Henry Florsheim, Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, said the concerns of the young professionals nowadays aren’t that much different then they were years ago. However, he said social media has played a big part, positive and negative, in getting the message out there, which unfortunately doesn’t always tell the whole story.
“You’ve got to really spend more time not just searching online, but actually coming to events like this and interacting with elected leaders,” Florsheim said.
Those leaders include Congressman Thornberry, who received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award for his support of pro-growth policies. But he said the spirit of enterprise isn’t about him or his political colleagues.
“Thank you. I appreciate it; but really, the spirit of enterprise is on y’all’s shoulders.”
Also in today’s meeting, it was announced the organization Young Professionals of Wichita Falls will, in the near future, will be absorbed and restructured by the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.