The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently selected John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to participate in the third cohort of its premiere business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

“As a vanguard for the 1.1 million African American residents and over 80,000 it is important that I remain current on the most effective methods, strategies and best practices to position our constituency for optimal success while consequently strengthening the competitiveness of New Jersey”, John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM.

 “We created the Business Leads Fellowship Program in response to the needs of our state and local chamber partners,” says Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce. “They, better than anyone, see the critical link between education and economic development, and we are glad to be able to support them as they take on this critical leadership role in their community.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, John E. Harmon, Sr. was selected along with 33 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the third class of this program. The four-month program, which concludes in September 2019, will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education,K-12, higher education, and workforce development.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.

For a full list of participants in the Business Leads Fellowship Program, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website

The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) Inc., was established in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, B2B (business-to-business) organization located in Trenton, New Jersey. With more than 700 active members, the AACCNJ has become a central beacon for minority and non-minority advocacy building, community and government relations, business development, job retention, and education attainment. The Chamber serves as a mechanism for communication, program creation, and strategic implementation of initiatives and resolutions that help build New Jersey’s economic landscape.  

To date, the AACCNJ has advocated on behalf of its members on several capital development and procurement projects to insure inclusion.  The AACCNJ is a conduit to bridging gaps between the under-performing populations in New Jersey and a vital resource to initiating dialogue leading to strategies that address the state’s overall competitiveness. It also provides an open line of communication with state and local government officials, and suppliers; workforce and development training, job-readiness programs and recruitment services; free enterprise activity for Women, Veteran and Minority-owned business; access to resources in making statewide businesses visible in key markets; and youth mentorship and entrepreneurial programs.

The AACCNJ has strategically aligned itself with the state’s top financial institutions, business leaders, associations, and workforce partners including: Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, Investors Bank, NJCPA, Withum, Smith, Brown Accounting, NJ Bankers Association, the State New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Statewide Hispanic of Chamber of Commerce, NJBIA, NJ Economic Development Authority, New Chamber State Chamber of Commerce, NJ Department of Labor Workforce and Development.   New Jersey’s WIB’s, National Organization on Disability, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Transportation, Small Business Development Center and Small Business Administration, and finally, the School Development Authority, to advocate for economic development, training, workforce development, and public policy.