Bartow Employer Committee takes second place in state awards
by Matt Shinall
Sep 15, 2012 | 1640 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler presents the runner-up Employer Committee of the Year Award to the Bartow Employer Committee represented by, from left, Gail Fowler, Deborah Sexton, Commissioner Butler, Tammy Hufsteller and Jennifer Stephens. Special
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler presents the runner-up Employer Committee of the Year Award to the Bartow Employer Committee represented by, from left, Gail Fowler, Deborah Sexton, Commissioner Butler, Tammy Hufsteller and Jennifer Stephens. Special
slideshow
In a race nearly too close to call, the Bartow County Employer Committee helped set the bar and forced judges to change the rules as local committee members took home second place from the Georgia Employer Committee state awards ceremony Thursday.

A cooperative board made of business leaders, human resource professionals and representatives from the Georgia Department of Labor, the Georgia Employer Committee and county employer committees work to educate, inform and advocate for employers. At the state committee’s annual conference in Savannah, an annual awards ceremony culminates in the presentation of Employer Committee of the Year. While the Middle Georgia Employer Committee was named committee of the year, the Georgia Employer Committee awarded Thursday, for the first time ever, a runner-up award going to Bartow County due to difficulty in choosing a clear winner.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to select a clear winner in awards competition and this is one of those occasions,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “The Bartow County Employer Committee has had such a successful year that the judges thought it worthy to make an exception and present a runner-up award for Employer Committee of the Year. I wholeheartedly agree and congratulate the Bartow committee for its excellent work.”

Chosen for its work in educating members and giving back to the community, the Bartow County Employer Committee’s award surprised even its chair, Deborah Sexton.

“I was caught off guard because in population, we’re not as large as some other cities. But I feel the amount of funds we raised in proportion to our population is notable and we have disbursed donations wisely in the community,” Sexton said. “The Middle Georgia Employer Committee is huge. They have about 80 members with average attendance of 40 or 45, whereas our’s may be half of that.”

A press release issued Friday by the Georgia Department of Labor cited many of the committee’s efforts. Each year, the Bartow Employer Committee awards a $1,000 scholarship through the Etowah Scholarship Foundation and five GED scholarships in addition to organizing Hoops for Hope, a youth basketball tournament enabling the committee to give annually to Bartow Give A Kid A Chance.

The state committee also commended the Bartow County Employer Committee for its education efforts, specifically a regional forum and panel discussion in cooperation with the Cobb/Cherokee Employer Committee. The forum brought together government and education officials to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the future of Georgia’s workforce. Beyond special programs and annual events, the Bartow County Employer Committee also hosts regular meetings often highlighting topical issues concerning human resources and the laborforce.

“We provide input and guidance in the development of policy and legislation. Sometimes we may have an attorney come in and talk about different topics that HR reps want to hear about,” Sexton said. “A lot of times, we have local and state employment-related needs where we have speakers teach on. We like to have productive meetings where you don’t just come for lunch, but that you leave with something beneficial.”

Only six employer committees were recognized at Thursday’s awards ceremony. For more information on the Bartow County Employer Committee, contact Sexton at 678-640-2692 or Jennifer Stephens with the Georgia Department of Labor at 770-387-3760.