On Saturday, November 10th from 8am to 1pm at Prestige Fitness in the Diamondhead area, members of the 2017/2018 Leadership Hancock Class are challenging the community to participate in LIFTOFF, a strength and endurance challenge. Proceeds from the event will help launch the new Work Ready Mentor Program initiated by Leadership Hancock, an annual program of the Hancock Chamber.
LIFT OFF participants can sign up for any number of challenges to include step-ups, pushups, kettlebel swings, lunges and sit-ups, overhead presses and more. There is also a competition for team rowing, cycling, weight lifting and the Murph Challenge. Registration starts at $60 and gift awards are valued at $500 for each of the five competitions. To register with the Hancock Chamber go to http://tinyurl.com/2018-liftoff
Companies and individuals are invited to also sponsor the event. Packages range from $500 to $200 and include registrations and company recognition. On-line sponsor registration is at: https://tinyurl.com/2018-liftoff-sponsor
The workforce issue emerged when the Hancock Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission in 2016 to launch a business retention and expansion program. Through this program, surveys of small businesses were conducted by members of the Leadership Hancock Class.
Today 60 small business and 60 primary companies have been interviewed that represent 4,906 employees. In the last three years, these companies have added 518 jobs and 68 companies are planning to expand investing an estimated $400,565,000 that will add 2,599 new jobs to the economy.
“We saw first-hand that the number one issue facing business and industry today in Hancock County and really across the nation is finding reliable, skilled workforce,” said Tre Hamilton, a member of the Class. “We want to fill the gap and help connect the workforce with employers by providing mentoring and apprenticeships.”
Members of the Class know that in order to achieve the goals they have set-forth, significant funds need to be raised.
Through this new and innovative program, members of the Class will offer a positive influence to high school juniors in Hancock County selected to participate by providing support, guidance, encouragement and direction for students who are looking for a career path.
“Working one-on-one with a mentor from the Hancock Leadership Class, participants will receive guidance on resume writing, phone and email etiquette, and interview skills,” said James Buras, another member of the Class.
After students graduate from high school, some will go on to participate in the apprenticeship component of the program. The Leadership Hancock Work Ready team will support apprentices through the job application process and will help open employment doors in Hancock County.
Another goal of the program is to lower barriers for local business owners by alleviating the initial expense of training a new employee. The goal of the program is to pay half of the apprentice’s wages for three months to the business owner. After the three-month trial period is over, the employer can choose whether to fully employ the apprentice.
While members of Leadership Hancock are volunteering their time to help the youth of Hancock County lift off their careers, raising funds to support the apprenticeship program is critical to achieving success.
“We want to be ready to help these employers find the skilled workers they need to move our economy in the right direction,” said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock Chamber.
“We applaud the efforts of the Leadership Class for embracing this issue and finding a solution to arm our workforce with the skills they need to land the jobs they want right here at home.”