Albany, Ga. – Albany-Dougherty County leaders announced Tuesday the community’s selection as the host site for the spring 2018 class of GeorgiaForward’s Young Gamechangers, a leadership action program that makes a tangible impact in select communities by bringing young minds into the public sphere as respected idea-generators and problem-solvers.
The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, City of Albany, Dougherty County and GeorgiaForward shared the news during an event that brought together community leaders at the Albany Welcome Center in downtown Albany. The spring 2018 program begins in January and concludes in June, at which time participants of the 50-member spring class will present recommendations for areas of community challenge.
“Albany-Dougherty County has experienced the positive outcomes of meaningful analysis, cross-sector partnerships, cross-region relationships and a shared vision for creating a stronger and more economically vibrant community,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, and Justin Strickland, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “We welcome Young Gamechangers to be a part of the solutions team for Albany-Dougherty County as we continue to create opportunities and leverage successes.”
“We have taken great strides within our community over the past several years to increase strategic collaboration, implement meaningful community partnerships and to better develop pathways from education to employment,” said Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard. “As part of our growth, we invite the fresh perspective, innovative ideas and creativity that Young Gamechangers has demonstrated.”
“Honest, unbiased self-examination of our community’s strengths and weaknesses is of critical value for Dougherty County at this time,” said Dougherty County Commission Chairman Christopher S. Cohilas. “Any community that wishes to succeed must be willing to build upon its existing assets and propose meaningful solutions to its problems. This partnership with Young Gamechangers provides that opportunity.”
GeorgiaForward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working as a catalyst to improve Georgia through cross-sector, statewide conversations and partnerships by engaging young professionals and business, political, academic and civic leaders.
“We are looking forward to bringing Young Gamechangers to Albany-Dougherty County next year,” said Kris Vaughn, executive director of GeorgiaForward. “This program is creating tangible change in communities across our state by tapping into the wealth of creativity and energy of Georgia’s young leaders. We are proud that each of the six communities this program has worked in to date has implemented one – if not several – of the recommendations presented by the Young Gamechangers. It will be exciting to see what ideas come from the spring 2018 Young Gamechangers.”
Previous Young Gamechangers communities are Americus/Sumter County; Dublin/Laurens County; Douglasville/Douglas County; Augusta; LaGrange/Troup County; and Milledgeville/Baldwin County. The spring 2018 program is made possible in part by The Commerce Club Foundation, Central Atlanta Progress, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, Georgia CEO and GeorgiaTrend.
To be considered for the spring 2018 class, young professionals from across Georgia with a passion for uniting the state and strengthening its communities should apply online at georgiaforward.org. Applicants must be between the ages of 24-40. Ambitious minds from any professional sector will be considered. Applications must be received by midnight on October 6, 2017.