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Chamber’s Leadership Programs Focus on Education During Fall-Winter Sessions

The Chamber’s three leadership development programs – Excellence, Edge and Equip – continued to meet throughout the fall and into the winter.

Excellence in Leadership, the Chamber’s flagship leader development program for professionals, visited GoFAR USA Park in October for some fun team building exercises. Later in the day, the group heard from Doug Bachuss about leadership goals and their class community project, Mrs. Frances Tate about the CEOTA/Civil Rights Museum Project, Sonya Clemons about the Singing River Trail and Chastity Tate with Decatur Morgan Hospital about Another Chance Medical Stabilization.

The class met in November to learn about the impact of education in our community. They began the day at the Chamber’s State of Education Forum where they heard from local educators. After breakfast, they traveled to Calhoun Community College where they toured several programs including the Health Sciences building and the Advanced Technology Center. After lunch, Angie Cushing with Career Academies of Decatur showed the group the new facility now available to Decatur City School students. The day ended with a guided tour of the Alabama Center for the Arts led by Director Jennifer Bunnell. The ACA offers classes in painting, pottery, theater and music. It's great to see the opportunities expanding for our local students.

In December, the class met for Law & Order Day. Starting the day at the Morgan County Courthouse, the class heard brief presentations from our area judges and officials where they shared the type of work they do and the cases they cover. The group then traveled to the City of Decatur Fire and Police Training Center in Flint to learn about their work and training to serve the community. After lunch, the group participated in a mock trial exercise where class members played roles including judges, witnesses, attorneys and jury members under the direction of Morgan County District Judge Shelly Waters. Thank you to our presenting sponsor Nucor Steel.

In October, our Edge Student Leadership class, comprised of 35 sophomores and juniors from across Morgan County, had an exciting visit to GoFAR USA Park for a team-building experience. The students were divided into groups to tackle various challenges that required clear communication, strategic thinking and teamwork. After lunch from Freddy’s, Taylor Simmons of Horizon Point Consulting, Inc. discussed the results of the students’ Strong Interest Inventory assessments to help them identify their interests when choosing a career path.

In November, the class focused on the role our judicial and criminal justice systems play in our community. Starting the day at the Morgan County Courthouse, the class heard brief presentations from our area judges and justice officials, where they shared the type of work they do and the cases they cover. A tour of the Morgan County Jail is always in order to make the students aware of “where they don’t want to be.” It was then time for the mock trial exercise – an annual highlight for the class. Students played the roles of judges, jury, prosecution and defense teams, witnesses and the accused under the supervision of Morgan County District Judge Shelly Waters.

In December, our Edge Student Leadership class met for Health and Education Day, starting with a tour of Calhoun Community College. They visited the Health Sciences building, Advanced Technology Center, Aerospace & Welding and Machine Tool Technology, ending the tour at CE-TV (Calhoun Education Television & Digital Media). After lunch, the class then heard from Decatur Morgan Hospital employees about their job responsibilities and took a quick tour. 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. Thank you to our presenting sponsor Nucor Steel Decatur and gold sponsors Bunge Corporation, Joe Wheeler EMC and the Morgan County Commission.

Our Equip Student Leadership program, made up of twenty-eight 8th grade students from schools across Decatur, Hartselle and Morgan County, toured United Launch Alliance in Decatur in October. The students learned about rockets ULA has built and launched which include the Atlas V, Delta II, Delta IV and the Vulcan. The students got an up-close look at the processes each rocket undergoes before being shipped out of the facility and eventually launched into space.

In November, the group toured the Cerrowire manufacturing plant at the Morgan Center Business Park in Hartselle. The facility opened earlier this year and produces Metal Clad cable used in most types of building construction. The students met with the plant manager and HR managers to discuss careers, education and manufacturing.

The class met in December for their last session. They toured the fabrication shop at Contractor Service and Fabrication Inc. in Decatur. The students learned about the different pieces of equipment used at the facility and the roles and responsibilities of each employee. The students were given their first name initial cut out of metal right from the shop floor. After lunch, Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett visited the Chamber to talk about peer pressure, drugs and how his deputies protect our community. The students also received a certificate of completion. The goal of the five-month program is to help 8th graders with leadership training, career development and to show them opportunities that require less than a four-year degree. Thank you to our presenting sponsor Nucor Steel Decatur and gold sponsor Bunge Corporation for supporting this program.



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