A brief history of CCOC.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC) was established in 1951 as the Clayton Merchants and Credit Association. From its inception, it became an integral part of the growing Clayton community, awarding the town's first "Employee of the Year" (now called Citizen of the Year) and hosting an annual town festival (now called the Clayton Harvest Festival) the same year. Staff originally worked in various buildings in Downtown Clayton. After several decades of growth, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce was ready for a larger office space. First Citizens Bank generously gifted the historic Clayton Banking Company building to CCOC in 1995. Erected in 1919, the local landmark is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. CCOC then embarked on an interior renovation project in 1997 led by former Executive Directors Melissa Oliver (1994-1998) and Sally Schlindwein (1998-2010) in order to make the building functional as a chamber. With more than 50 years of service to the Clayton community, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce continues to occupy this beautiful architectural landmark.
(1) Executive Secretary Rochelle Bolyard, 1971. (2) CCOC Barbour Street location, 1986. (3) Construction of The Clayton Banking Company, 1919. (4) First Citizens Bank in Clayton, 1969. (5) CCOC interior renovation, 1997. (6) and (7) Executive Directors Melissa Oliver (1994-1998) posing at the vault and Sally Schlindwein (1998-2010) posing with a design board celebrating the interior renovation project, 1997.
The future's so bright.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce has a rich and proud history. A history that is deeply rooted in community involvement and the cultivation of relationships with businesses, residents, and key stakeholders. Because of this, CCOC can confidently set its eyes on the future. We know our community is growing. We also know it takes an enormous amount of advocacy, collaboration, and innovation to ensure our community grows smart. The dedicated board of directors and staff of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce are deeply committed to our mission. We hear the excitement in your voices when you talk about our community's potential. It drives us everyday. We can't wait to look back at the 2018-2020 bullets on CCOC's history timeline. What will they say? For now, today, we are...
Building Clayton's Future.
What we do.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce hosts over 40 events per year that are directly tied to our mission statement (to champion business, economic development, and education in Clayton, NC). These events also enhance, embrace, and celebrate our community.
They include: Clayton Harvest Festival, which includes Squealin' on the Square, Clayton Idol, the Military Crossroads, and the Latin American Festival; Platforms at the Podium (political forums for the Clayton community); Elements of Business (free professional development training); Topics at 12 and Eggs & Issues (economic and workforce development programs); Good Morning Clayton and B.A.S.H. (business networking opportunities); Clayton 101 Tours (residential/newcomer tours); and more.
We serve as the official visitors center for Clayton, NC, providing newcomers and visitors a place to learn about Clayton and its businesses.
We serve as the voice for our business community on local, state, county, regional, and national levels.
We facilitate issues-based and advocacy committees in areas of Economic Development, Education, Workforce Development, Governmental and Legislative Affairs, and Business Advocacy specifically for Clayton, NC. The work of these committees are directly tied to specific action items within our strategic plan.
We represent our community within the following organizations: United States Chamber of Commerce; Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE); Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE); North Carolina Chamber; Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC); Johnston County Economic Development's Business & Industry Council; Johnston County Public Schools Career & Technical Education Advisory Board; and more.
CCOC has big goals.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce will seek accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in an effort to professionalize our policies and procedures. This big undertaking will create an even healthier chamber for Clayton, a community characteristic vital to economic development.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce will begin a building interior renovation campaign in order to create a space that respects our historic building and paves way for Chamber growth as our town continues to grow.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce will continue to grow its collaborative efforts within the Clayton and surrounding areas through current and additional issues-based committees and other initiatives.
CCOC has a plan.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce's board of directors and staff attended a planning retreat, led by a facilitator, in December 2017 in order to develop our three-year strategic plan (2018-2020). This plan serves as our official road map. The following are goals presented in the plan. Each goal has specific tasks the staff and board will measure over the next three years.
- To assist in the facilitation of workforce development that starts in middle school and continues through secondary education to create a local pipeline of skilled workers.
- To build and maintain effective strategic partnerships to grow the Chamber and further economic development efforts.
- To improve member satisfaction by enhancing membership services driven by member feedback.
- To grow a diverse membership and increase revenue while retaining membership retention.
- To achieve accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
- To develop a professional staff to support the goals and objectives of CCOC.
- To modernize the Chamber by improving the facilities.
Why choose a Chamber business?
Support Chamber businesses. The businesses in our directory are businesses in the Clayton, NC and surrounding areas that not only "do business" here, but have also taken the extra step by investing in the Clayton Chamber of Commerce's mission (to champion business, economic development, and education in Clayton, NC). They also show community leadership through engagement in Chamber events/activities, committees, task forces, and other initiatives. By supporting these businesses, you play a key role in Clayton's economic growth. Look for a CCOC investor decal, ask us, or search our online business directory for our investors.