Success through volunter leadership
by Chamber Chairman Jimmy Adams, Adams Transfer & Storage Co., Inc.
Reflecting on our community today, I’m reminded that we have much to be thankful for as we begin 2007 – a strong existing industry base that provides jobs in our improving economy; new companies like FAE relocating to Gainesville-Hall County; numerous educational opportunities; and our Chamber of Commerce focused on governmental relations to represent business and our community with one voice when industrial prospects knock on the front door of our community. These successes are made possible by a strong membership base, the implementation of HALLmark VISION 2030 and volunteer leadership.
After completing a six month campaign raising $2.4 million in investments in 2006, the HALLmark Vision Initiative already reports many successes in economic development, government affairs, workforce development and education. Our focus this year – VISION 2030: Creating the Path to Our Future – places emphasis on working together to develop one economic vision.
Despite the sluggish national economy, Hall County’s unemployment rate remains below both the state and national averages, and in 2006 we saw over 600 new jobs and $143 million in capital investment created in Gainesville-Hall County from 19 new and expanded industries.
Educational opportunities abound in Hall County. The Hall County School System, in conjunction with Lanier Technical College, is operating the new Lanier Career Center in South Hall County, benefiting high school students interested in technology-related programs. Brenau University, Gainesville State College, and Lanier Technical College have announced record enrollments this year.
All of this is good news for our business community, as new and existing industry look for skilled, educated individuals to join the workforce.
Other successes are made possible through volunteer leadership and the HALLmark Initiative include:
Economic development efforts focused on new technology, research jobs and existing industry.
Existing industry expansions in Hall County accounted for 85% of the new jobs created in the last two years.
Industry Roundtable and Human Resources Councils providing plant manager/CEO’s and human resource managers the opportunity to interact and network monthly.
The Chamber’s Drugs Don’t Work program now has over 60 businesses participating and are qualified as Drug-Free.
The Lake Lanier Technology Alliance includes some 100 members laying the groundwork for recruiting high-tech companies to Gainesville-Hall County.
The Chamber’s Government Affairs Division keeps members abreast of local, state and federal issues with speakers, forums and seminars on transportation, healthcare, infrastructure and other issues.
Businesses and ALL Gainesville and Hall County schools are collaborating and some 300+ businesses are partners with area schools through the Partners in Education program.
Apprenticeships and interns in the school systems, sponsored by the QuEST Council, focus on the areas of technology, healthcare and education.
Small Business Council sponsored monthly seminars covering topics like finance, human resources, retirement plans, marketing, healthcare, websites.
All this and much more is made possible by our Chamber members, HALLmark investors and the work of dedicated volunteers. Thank you for your ongoing investment in our future. 2007 will be a good year for business!