“Chamber Committee Actively Working to Benefit Schools in our Community”
By: Jackson Leake
The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Development Committee spearheaded by Dr. Folsom “Sonny” Proctor meets monthly with the Pickens County Board of Education to address educational issues facing our community.
At a recent meeting they discussed ways that they could potentially benefit students. Gerry Nechvatal, the Executive and Economic Development Director of the Pickens Chamber, recalled exploratory tours the middle school classes took to the Appalachian Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College, which were discontinued due to budget constraints. These trips were identified as extremely beneficial to students.
Daniel Bell, the chair of the Pickens Board of Education, advocated strongly for these trips, and the Superintendent acted quickly to insure that they were brought back through a collaboration with Chattahoochee Technical College. Beginning January 19th, 2017, eighth grade students from both Jasper Middle School and Pickens County Middle School will have the opportunity to tour Chattahoochee Tech and learn about the different programs that they offer. This way, students will be able to plan their high school classes accordingly to be better prepared to go into the technical field, an area that is severely lacking in our nation. The Education and Workforce Development Committee hopes to extend this fantastic opportunity to both sixth and seventh grade students very soon.
At this committee meeting the elementary schools also expressed their need for additional hand sanitizers and tissues. Dr. Proctor and Geri Sauer of North Georgia Staffing began planning how the schools would receive the supplies they needed. North Georgia Staffing was going to lead the drive and use their facility as a drop off, but Gerry Nechvatal stepped in and offered to donate the tissue boxes. It was decided that the Pickens Chamber would donate enough tissues that every elementary school classroom in Pickens County will receive at least one box.
These are both great examples of multiple organizations working collaboratively to enrich the lives of the students in Pickens County. This tissue drive also demonstrates the Chamber’s goal to use committees to identify and solve issues in our community, thus fulfilling our mission statement “to actively promote Pickens County and its businesses to enhance the quality of life for its citizens.”