Joining an employer association is a strategic move for employers of all sizes. These associations will vary in cost to join, but the benefits make it well worth the investment. One employer association with which you may be familiar is the United States Chamber of Commerce, which is actually one of the largest political lobbying forces in the U.S., fighting for everything from labor laws to tax incentives on behalf of businesses.
Local, Regional and National Employer Associations
The organizations that get the most buzz in the press are the national associations, but don’t dismiss local ones. For small- to medium-sized businesses, joining their city’s Chamber of Commerce and even state chambers can open countless doors. It’s an opportunity to network and build relationships, possibly find new business opportunities and partnerships and keep a finger on the political pulse of your region. The Chamber of Commerce, though, is just the organization that is most well known.
There is a searchable database at the Employer Associations of America website, which can be a gold mine for organizations large and small. If you’re not sure of what organizations exist in your region beyond the Chamber of Commerce, then talk to your chamber and your local libraries, as they’ll be able to refer you.
About Industrial Organizations
Working in heavily regulated industries comes with great challenges at times, especially if the government changes the game or controversies are cropping up due to public opinion or recent happenings. By being involved in employer organizations, it’s possible to get peer support and knowledge that may otherwise be difficult to find or afford.
Associated Builders and Contractors, for instance, boasts over 70 chapters with over 21,000 building-industry members. They bring political clout to the table that an individual builder could never have. Their endorsement is sought after even by political candidates, so that speaks to a collective power that’s worth having. Beyond national political power, regional and local chapters can consult with each other about the best way to handle new materials, ways to solve technological problems and how to adapt to new building-code changes.
There are all kinds of industrial employer organizations, like the Mine Owners’ Association and National Association of Manufacturers.
Other Reasons for Employer Organizations
With “strength in numbers” being one truism upon which employer organizations are founded, there are all kinds of benefits that come from that numbers game. For instance, it might be a more affordable way of providing medical insurance (and other benefits) to employees if there’s a collective plan that has been negotiated by the organization.
There are all kinds of services that solicit the large member bases of employer organizations, from law offices to data-security firms and payroll companies, and they offer great deals to woo new companies to their fold. Some employer organizations have been operating for decades and have the financial coffers to create things like background-checking systems and applicant-tracking programs that are designed to give industry members improved human resource operations.
The knowledge base is also a huge incentive for joining employer organizations. From small town Chambers of Commerce to national organizations, it’s common to have professional speakers, networking events, heavy-hitting conferences and even online training for employers, all designed to share information and teach new methods to members. With such a vast array of employer organizations across America and around the world, it’s impossible to give an encompassing overview of what’s out there. Suffice it to say that joining these organizations has far more to offer than just a good tax deduction.
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