Derick Barnes, business agent with Laborers Local 663, Jeff Seifried, Chamber president; Heather Hardinger, programs & communications director with Taney County Partnership; and Courtney Goff, media relations manager with the Branson Chamber take part in the Chamber’s big announcement.

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce announced they’re going back to Puerto Rico.

On Jan. 28, the Chamber announced that with the Taney Co. Partnership, and with support from Heavy Construction Laborers’ Union Local 633, Big Cedar and Bass Pro Shops, they will be headed to Puerto Rico Feb. 21-28.

This second annual trip will focus on the reconstruction of a house and the repair of roofs that were damaged by Hurricane Maria in September/October of 2017.

“There’s a great need to continue giving back to Puerto Rico,” said President/CEO of Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, Jeff Seifried. “In 2017 we launched our Puerto Rico recruiting initiative. We’ve recruited more than 500 Puerto Ricans to the Branson area, so this is just one more way that we look forward to giving back to those who have given so much to Branson.”

According to a press release, leaders from CoxHealth, the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and the Taney County Partnership went to Humacao last year to help a woman named Virginia rebuild her home. Leaders from the top levels of these organizations made the trip, tools in hand, in an effort to help fix Virginia’s house and get her life back to a new normal.

CoxHealth also donated approximately $40,000 in supplies to the Centro Services Multiples Punta Santiago, a local clinic that offers preventive care and referrals for people throughout the surrounding area. It was the first time the clinic had received physical goods post-hurricane to help their patients.

According to the release, since the start of the program, the chamber has maintained positive relationships with colleges and universities, municipal governments, state/commonwealth ties and the U.S. Department of Labor office partnerships in Puerto Rico.

Also, since April 2017, employers from Taney County and beyond have recruited over 500 qualified, skilled workers from the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico through the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Attraction Program, primarily in the areas of tourism, attractions and recreation, hospitality and healthcare.

The Chamber also has a Convoy of Hope Community Event set for Feb. 22 in Punta Santiago for locals that will include a kids zone, food, music, groceries, helpful connections and a health fair.

If you are part of an organization interested in contributing to this effort, call the Director of Workforce Strategy and Programs, Heather Hardinger, at 417-243-2140.

(6) comments


So why can't you hire Americans to fill your job market instead of bringing in foreigners

A lot of people looking for jobs. Can these people speak English? Which should be one of the requirements to live here.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

Puerto Rican’s ARE citizens of the US.

William B

While very true, they do not pay US taxes. But the do reap all the rewards of people that do.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

William B, you can take comfort you are only partially wrong, as opposed to prs72. In both cases, you should do your homework before sharing your "views" with anyone.


I think it is time to change the question on this page from chickens in Forsyth to do coworkers of Puerto Ricans in Branson believe that they are skilled, qualified workers. I personally would be interested in the results.


I agree with the chicken survey efforts. However, you have had it up and running for several months. You have a large audience as you are the best news source for this area. Put a new survey in there several times a month. Use the people as a resource. Also, what about the idea of letters to the editor? Define the rules and regulations in a clear and concise manner. Then don't post or print the ones that do not follow the rules. I have lived in several states and other city's where this became a wonderful resource for our local officials to really get an understanding of what issues the general populace really were. I appreciate all you do and know you are limited like the rest of anyone that has to operate under budget constraints. Use the survey to your benefit. It could result in more revenue for you as well. Keep things interesting............

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