It’s National Volunteer Week!

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National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Dalton-Whitfield is blessed with an incredible spirit of volunteerism. Without volunteers, our Chamber and our Community wouldn’t be the same.

The Chamber salutes the many dedicated volunteers for their service and commitment to our community!

For more information on National Volunteer Week click HERE.

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Green Banking….

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Green Banking
Robby Brown, Financial Services Specialist, Regions Bank, Dalton Main Office

Going green? There are lots of ways to save “green” – and do something good for the planet—even when it comes to your banking!

**Save consistently.
Until recently, Americans had been out of the habit of saving. But consumers
are now realizing that a savings account is not an old-fashioned relic of our
grandparents’ generation. Consistent saving builds that emergency fund so you
don’t go deeper into debt when the unexpected happens. The amount you
save is less important than consistency. “Pay yourself first” each
payday using direct deposit or automatic transfers so you won’t forget. At
Regions, our LifeGreen Savings account rewards consistent monthly savings with a year-end bonus.  

**Opt for online.
Paper bank and credit card statements not only kill trees – they can present a security risk. Mailbox theft is still on the rise and information can fall into
the wrong hands if not disposed of properly. Play it safe and be a bit “greener” by having statements sent to you via email. And by paying bills electronically, you save postage, paper and transportation costs – while lowering your risk for identity theft. Plus, it’s faster, helping you avoid late fees.

**Bank smarter.
Speaking of fees, hold on to your hard-earned green by practicing sound
financial management and avoiding late fees and overdraft charges. And whether
you need some help balancing your checkbook, buying a home, or planning for
retirement, regions.com now has an impressive array of free articles,
tips and calculators available to you (click the “Advice” tab). Plus, Regions
recently launched My GreenInsights (regions.com/mygreeninsights), a smart new tool within Regions Online Banking that can help you track and manage your spending, set goals, and see your financial “big picture” in one place.

Our Regions team in Dalton is your trusted financial resource, ready with advice and guidance to help you save time and money with your everyday banking, borrow smarter and even plan for the unexpected. Visit us at any of our three Dalton offices where it’s time to expect more… green!

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April’s SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS

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Georgia United Credit Union – A different kind of financial institution

Consumer advocates agree that credit unions are one of the best financial partners you can have. The good news for Whitfield County residents is that one of Georgia’s largest and strongest credit unions has a branch office right here in our community! Located at 605 Calhoun Street in downtown Dalton, Georgia United Credit Union has been in business since 1958, offering members financial services that save both time and money.

What’s the Difference between a Credit Union and a Bank? Credit Unions are not for profit financial cooperatives that are owned by members and provide many of the same financial services that banks offer: checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, auto and mortgage loans, and ATMs. Credit Unions are led by a board of directors elected from the membership. The earnings made by credit unions are returned to members in the form of lower fees and loan rates and higher returns on deposits.

A great example of credit union cooperation is the CU Service Center Network (www.cuservicecenter.com)
allowing credit unions to share 4,400 branches to offer additional service locations for members.

Who Can Join Georgia United? Georgia United can serve any resident of Whitfield County as well as their family members. Georgia United also serves all major employers in Dalton. Visit georgiaunitedcu.org for a complete list of all eligible member groups, schools, state and county agencies.

Are Georgia United’s Deposits Insured? Yes, Georgia United accounts are insured to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), the strongest of the federal insurance funds. The NCUSIF is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA.)

What Financial Services are Available? Georgia United offers just about any financial service you might need at rates that are surprisingly low – like car loans as low as 1.99%.

Community Partners Georgia United volunteers for numerous community projects including their community speakers’ bureau, scholarship programs, Christmas Wish Tree program, school supply collections, CAN HUNGER food bank drives, and partners with the Internal Revenue Service and the University of Georgia and Dalton State to provide FREE tax return assistance through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.

Where’s the closest branch? Georgia United has 16 locations and is as close as your phone or computer. Their Dalton Branch invites you to meet branch manager Vonda Bledsoe or give her a call at (706) 226-1199, ext. 3901 or email her at Vonda.Bledsoe@georgiaunitedcu.org

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Georgia United Credit Union’s Dalton Branch Staff “sees things differently” from most financial institutions

Greater Dalton, a Community with Answers to Challenges

Two years ago, the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce and the Dalton-Whitfield County Joint Development Authority (JDA) made an investment in education by creating a staff position for workforce development. The Chamber and JDA worked together to achieve the best opportunities for the citizens of our community. In the midst of a recession that carried the designation of Dalton Metro area having the highest unemployment of any community in Georgia, this group of professionals looked forward, searching for solutions.

At the same time, employers reported that they had positions available but could not find workers who were qualified for many vacant jobs. With this realization, the Chamber/JDA team began working to find ways to meet the needs of present employers as well as meet workforce needs of businesses desiring to locate in Greater Dalton. This was a learning curve for all involved. The needs were many and the question was how to fix the problem. 

Community leaders took bold steps to bring a campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College to Whitfield County, which became a reality in August of 2011.  Dalton State College continued to grow, now offering 15 bachelor degrees. Industry focus groups were held to find the potential growth areas and identify employment skills needed by employers.

Discussions about education became the focus at committee meetings all around the community. As the result of these discussions, vision, commitment and efforts from leaders and laity alike, the following bullet points exemplify things for which Greater Dalton Citizens should be thankful:

  • To be an Archway Partnership Community, bringing resources from the University of Georgia to our community and assisting our citizens to look at our assets and search for ways to make us better.
  • Dalton State College
  • Georgia Northwestern Technical College
  • To have opportunities for students to be dual enrolled in DSC or GNTC and area high schools, earning college credit while still in high school.
  • To have elected officials, business professionals, and educational leaders at all levels to join together making tough discussions for the future. 
  • For the Young Professionals of Northwest Georgia, bringing young professionals together to enjoy each other socially and to develop a vision for the future.
  • To have business leaders who sponsor Camp DEM, a design, engineering and manufacturing camp for middle school students and leaders who realize we cannot fix the workforce challenges at the high school or college level.
  • To have professional and business citizens dedicate three days to Explore Experience, an extended job shadow experience for high school juniors.
  • For the businesses who sponsor and participate in a Career Fair for high school students.
  • For elected officials, business leaders, educational leaders to come together to proclaim that literacy is a key to the future of our community.
  • For the formation of Readers to Leaders (R2L), literacy as a community initiative at all ages.
  • For the vision of the leaders of The Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce and Dalton/Whitfield Joint Development Authority. 

Where do we go from here?  How can you help as a citizen of Greater Dalton?

  • Donate books
  • Read to a child
  • Read to a classroom
  • Look at the R2L billboards and smile
  • Help sponsor Camp DEM
  • Host a student at your business for Explore Experience
  • Thanks community leaders for their commitment and vision
  • Say “thank you” to elected officials.
  • Volunteer when volunteers are needed. 

Do we still have challenges?  The answer is yes.  Do we have leaders who care and have a vision for the future? The answer is yes.  The Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce and JDA are committed to continue to find answers to challenges and further the vision……. Come join the team!!!

Don’t Miss Your Chance to be a part of this Year’s Business Expo!!!

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Join us for the Premier Chamber Sponsored business-to-business exposition in the Northwest Georgia Area! Don’t miss this yearly opportunity to showcase your business!

The 10th Annual Business Expo will be held

Tuesday, May 7th

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Cookout on the Hill is from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Booths: $200

Premium Booths: $400

For more information contact Beth Morrison at 706-712-0949 or by email morrison@daltonchamber.org