For over 15 years, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) in a joint effort to support the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) program. Annually, technical college instructors across Georgia identify their most promising students and nominate them for GOAL based on academic achievement and personal leadership.
The Chamber’s Work Force Committee is a financial sponsor of SRTC’s GOAL program. Chamber of Commerce President, Tommie Beth Willis says that supporting the GOAL program is a component of their annual plan to support local educational systems and their related workforce development initiatives. “We are proud to back this program, because one of our goals is to support the next generation of business leaders,” she said. Ms. Willis commented further that technical education plays a major role in training the local workforce and preparing future business owners for career success. “It provides the solid foundation of work ethics, technical expertise, and knowledge that a strong business community is built on. We are so thankful for SRTC and its commitment to excellence in education. You can look around our community and see the fruits of their labor.”
Ms. Willis has a personal connection with the GOAL program, going back to her time as a student attending the former Moultrie Technical College (now SRTC.) “I was at a cross road in life and was not sure what my next step was when Joan Gay encouraged me to consider attending Moultrie Tech. I became involved with VICA, the honor society, and was a GOAL nominee myself during my time at MTC. I learned the importance of strong work ethic, teamwork, project management, and networking. Additionally, I made many lifelong friends and connected with mentors that have supported me along my career path.” Tommie Beth graduated with honors from the Electronics Technology program in 1991.
Ms. Willis now serves as the Chair of the SRTC GOAL Selection Committee, which is comprised of fellow community leaders Jerry Smith, Tonero Bender, and Bob Swadel. This group is tasked with selecting the winner from the final four GOAL finalists. This year, the committee selected Mrs. Jordan Baugham of Thomasville, who is enrolled in the Radiologic Technology program. The other finalists were Abby Bergeron, Ian Moody, and Jennifer Perez. A statewide winner will be selected at the state GOAL competition in Atlanta in April and will travel the state for a full year as an ambassador of the Technical College System of Georgia.