Chamber Kicks off New Classes for Leadership Development Programs
The Excellence in Leadership program is the flagship program of the Chamber’s Leadership series. The program was designed to identify, orient, develop and network existing and emerging leaders with the goal of enhancing positive growth in the area business community. The 2023-2024 class features 38 professionals from across Morgan County and meets monthly for 10 months to focus on topic-specific content. The class kicked off in August at The Magnolia Room in Decatur. The first session focused on “getting to know you” exercises. They also heard from classmate Tricia Collins with Eagle Consulting about the Make A Difference personality profile to help better understand and communicate with those around you.
The September gathering focused on caring for our community. The day started at the Chamber with health and human service professionals discussing their organizations and the work they do. Speakers included Kathleen Ross with United Way of Morgan County, Leah Brown with Mosaic Mentoring of North Alabama, Heather Collins from Vets Like Us, Larry Franks with First Priority of Greater Decatur/Clothe Our Kids and the class took a tour of the nearby Neighborhood Christian Center with Pam Bolding. The day wrapped up with Judy Smith, Area Administrator of the Public Health Department, explaining the wide scope of public health issues in our county. Excellence in Leadership is presented by Nucor Steel Decatur. Gold sponsors are the City of Decatur, Durbin Leadership, LLC and Shawn D. Garth, Realtor.
Aimed at 10th and 11th grade students from across Morgan County, Edge Student Leadership was created to expose the students to leadership opportunities in a creative and challenging manner, providing the students with the tools necessary to develop individual leadership skills. The program also encourages students to be a positive influence in their schools and to serve in the community. The class kicked off at AMF River City Lanes in August. This group of 35 sophomores and juniors spent the night bowling and getting to know each other.
In September, the class met at First Baptist Church for the Poverty Simulation and Diversity & Inclusion Day. These 10th and 11th graders learned problem solving skills through challenging economic situations while interacting with volunteers to learn about prioritizing topics like healthcare, childcare, education, rent and other real-world issues for families. After lunch, the students heard from local historian and author Peggy Towns about diversity and inclusion. Edge is presented by Nucor Steel Decatur and Gold Sponsors are Bunge Corporation, Joe Wheeler EMC and the Morgan County Commission.
Equip is a leadership program for 8th grade students from across Morgan County exposing them to post-high school college and career opportunities in the skilled trades as well as programs that require less than a four-year degree. Equip is broken up in two sessions (fall and spring) and features approximately 25 students in each session. The program kicked off in September with a focus on learning career and financial skills to help prepare them for a successful future. They learned how to fill out job applications, do mock interviews and how to budget and make smart money choices.
The gathering in September focused on opportunities available at Calhoun Community College. After starting the day in the Contractor Service & Fabrication, Inc. Boardroom at the Chamber, the group made the short drive across the bridge to the Decatur Campus of Calhoun Community College where students learned about programs in all types of fields including Automotive Technology and Health Science including Dental, Nursing and EMT. They also visited areas in Advanced Manufacturing, Machine Tool Technology, Residential & Commercial Electrician, Welding and HVAC. This is always a great opportunity for these students to see what Calhoun has to offer as the students start making decisions about their future. Equip is presented by Nucor Steel Decatur and the Gold sponsor is Bunge Corporation.