A new Columbia County business program fostering leadership skills in adults should launch soon.
The county Chamber of Commerce's board of directors recently adopted Leadership Columbia County.
"A lot of chambers have their own individual leadership-type programs all over the state," said Tammy Shepherd, the chamber's director of programs. "The board voted and agreed that it was time that we have our own leadership program."
The class will meet each month and discuss topics including history, education, media, criminal and civil justice, economy and infrastructure, military and government, health care, fire protection, local government and economic development, and take a field trip to Atlanta, Shepherd said.
The nine-month program will be somewhat similar to the Youth Leadership Columbia County, a program offered to high-school students, she said.
Pat Goodwin, the chairwoman of the Columbia County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, was selected to head the program with vice chair Barry Barth, the vice president and general manager of WFXG-TV, Channel 54.
"The intent of it is to promote and foster the development of leadership in our community," said Goodwin, who graduated from Leadership Augusta in 2001 and stayed on the board for nearly five years. "We want these folks to come out of this class and know a great deal about Columbia County, so they want to get involved."
Many other counties in the area have a similar leadership program and Goodwin said she hopes to work together with Leadership Augusta and with committees in McDuffie and Lincoln counties.
Class members will receive homework assignments, experience and discover different aspects of the community, and conduct discussions about their encounters during class, Goodwin said, adding that the program will explore all areas of the county, including Grovetown and Harlem.
Shepherd said she already has received much interest about the program and expects the selection process for the first class to be very competitive.
"It's a nice thing to have on your resume and to be looked at as a leader in the community," she said.
Classes with 20 to 25 members will begin in August and graduation could be held next May, Goodwin said.
Applications should be available by April on the chamber's Web site at www.columbiacountychamber.com, and the deadline could be set for May, Goodwin said. Tuition for the course is $500, which does not include the price of other activities.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and receive company approval for class attendance purposes. Class members do not have to reside in Columbia County, Goodwin said.
"It's aimed at individuals who truly want to know more and invest time in the community," she said. "It's a valuable resource if you want to be involved in the community to make a difference."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.