Business group pins its future hopes on SIT

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 11:27 05/08/2014
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ROBYN EDIE/ Fairfax NZ

GETTING CLOSER: Southland Chamber of Commerce's Neil McAra, SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds, Jo O'Connor of Otago Southland Employers' Association and chamber chief executive Sarah Hannan at the new offices in Tay St.

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The Southland Chamber of Commerce is looking to the Southern Institute of Technology to revitalise the region's economy.

The chamber has moved into a new office, shared with the Otago Southland Employers' Association, on SIT's Tay St campus, to form closer relationships.

Chamber president Sean Woodward said the move would allow more interaction between business students, employers and the chamber, creating a business incubator in the city. By fostering entrepreneurial spirit, the hub would ultimately strengthen the region's economy by encouraging diversity.

"In 10 years' time, we want to not be reliant on Tiwai if it closes, and I think SIT are a huge part of the economy in the future."

The offices were officially opened yesterday.

SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said the move would allow business students to build closer relationships with employers that could also benefit employers, with students available to contribute and take on projects.

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