This article was originally published in the LaGrange Daily News.
By Daniel Evans
Hundreds of city leaders met Tuesday morning at Del’avant Event Center for the LaGrange Troup Chamber of Commerce’s Early Bird Breakfast and the focus was on education.
The chamber named Kayla Yeargin of Troup High School as Troup County’s Teacher of the Year. Yeargin wasn’t able to accept the award because she’s traveling with a group of students to London, England, but Troup High Principal Chip Medders accepted it for her.
The other teachers of the year were Deanna Kelly (LaGrange Academy), Hannah Brackett (LaFayette Christian School Lower School), Pat Taylor (Lafayette Christian School Upper School), Angela Hutchins (Hillside Montessori) and Jennifer Ewing (Springwood School, Elementary Teacher of the Year) and Murphy Wood (Springwood High School Teacher of the Year.)
“Our businesses are only as strong as their employees and our teachers are the key component in creating a strong local workforce,” said Jason Ransbottom, Chamber Vice Chair for Talent and Workforce Development.
The meeting also included two presentations — one by the Young Gamechangers and another by Tony DeLisi and Chris Engle of Avalanche Consulting. Avalanche released the results of a six month strategic plan that looked at Troup County’s available workforce and how to keep up with the demand for new workers, given the county’s projected growth in five years.
“Troup County is forecast to create nearly 6,000 new jobs over the next five years — many in manufacturing and distribution,” noted Page Estes, president of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. “The recommendations presented by Avalanche provide a road map for success.”
Avalanche is a national economic and workforce development consultancy company based in Austin, Texas. The plan is named “Troup Works” and includes three areas of focus — attract, train and retain. The plan is a partnership between the chamber, the development authority of LaGrange, West Point Development Authority, Troup County Development Authority and the Troup County Development Authority and the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning.
The next Chamber of Commerce Early Breakfast will feature Congressman Drew Ferguson on Aug. 15.