CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION APRIL 15, 2021
President Jim Stapleton called on Chairperson Michael Ray for this week’s program. Michael then introduced Heather Flowers, the Family Justice Center Site Coordinator. In conjunction with Magnolia House, a 4-year grant has been awarded for the development of a Family Justice Center in Waycross and two other Georgia locations (Cobb and Macon). The center will be a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary, co-located center that provides services to victims of interpersonal violence, all under one roof. The Waycross location will serve the six counties of the Waycross Judicial Circuit. The scheduled opening is February 1, 2023, when the center will streamline services from a centralized intake process to any number of the places victims must now seek for services but now represented in one location. Statistics show that it may take a victim seven attempts before making a significant change for their safety in a new environment.
Based on a successful model now working in Guilford County, California, the center will use best practices that have been designed in part by input and feedback from victims and survivors. Mercer University is handling the assessment and accountability of the program in Georgia. There are presently 150 Justice Centers in the US with 40 of those following the California model. The local legal advocate is now identified and in service. Jessica Blackrick and her link to Georgia Legal Services are prepared to accompany a victim from the first contact through court and to service providers. Currently, Magnolia House and the community serve some 263 families with 350 crisis calls per year. The Center should impact the work of 911 calls, law enforcement response, and emergency rooms as well as the service agencies in the community. The excitement is building with the anticipated positive impact of the development of the Waycross Family Justice Center on our community and the Child Abuse Prevention Project.
BUSINESS MEETING: OFFICER ELECTIONS
President Jim Stapleton called the business meeting to order and had all non-members to exit the meeting room.
The main item of business was the election of officers for the upcoming business year. The report of the Nominating Committee had been announced previously announced and repeated by the President. After the call for nominations for each office from the floor, the voice vote and close of nominations the following is the report of the elections:
President Carl James; President-Elect Craig Head; Treasurers- Bill Deason/Larry Paulk; Secretary-Mary Fogle; Vice-
President of Facilities- Jimmy White; Board Members: Kevin Taft-Two Year Term; Horace Whitley-Two Year Term; Michael Thirft-Two Year Term; David Johnson-one Year Term.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN FORESTRY
President Jim Stapleton called on Michael Ray to introduce this week’s speaker. Michael introduced Tommy Peagler former member and a Past-President of the Exchange Club of Waycross, now serving as Director of the Forestry program at Coastal Pines Technical College. The Forestry Program has paths that lead to immediate employment in classes from one semester certificates to an Associate Degree. The certificates are in Forestry Technician Assistant, Basic Timber Harvesting, and Timber Harvesting Operations which involves hands-on use of up-to-date heavy equipment. The Forestry Technology degree and diploma program has been very attractive to High School Students participating in Joint Enrollment.
Courses are 10-20% in the core or general education area and then 80% in the trade and applied trade areas. The exciting part for students is the 100% job placement numbers for both degree and certificate participate with pay in the $30-40,000 range. The club had many questions about the economics of timber and forestry in areas such as taxes and investments which received a positive response from Mr. Peagler who thanked the club for the opportunity to speak and complimented the club for its involvement in youth activities benefiting the community. Send any interested students his way!