Unemployment Rates for December Released

According to the December figures released this week by the Georgia Department of Labor, Stephens Count's preliminary unemployment rate for December is 10.6%, That represents a one-tenth of a percentage point increase from the final November unemployment rate of 10.5%. This past December's unemployment rate is lower than the final December 2009 unemployment rate of 11.2%.

Stephens County Schools Receive State Recognition

Stephens County's six schools are the recipients of state recognition and federal funds. All were recently named as Title One Distinguished Schools. Stephens County Schools Superintendent Sherrie Whiten said the county's six schools, all Title One Schools, received this recognition thanks to their performances over a number of years. Toccoa and Eastanollee Elementary schools will receive $1,113; while the other four schools will each receive $742.

Toccoa Falls College Celebrates 100 years

Toccoa Falls College marks one hundred years in the city of Toccoa. Monday morning, College leaders gathered at the train depot in downtown Toccoa to unveil a marker commemorating the occasion. The marker placed at the train depot commemorates Toccoa Falls College and the Southern Rail Station. It is one of 24 markers placed in various locations as part of a walking tour and history of Toccoa Falls College.


In spite of snow, work continues at Hayestone Brady Business Park!

Four County Regional Work Ready Grant Awarded!

A grant from the state will assist Stephens County and three neighboring counties in northeast Georgia with work force development.

Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin said last week that state officials had informed him that a $350,000 work force development grant was awarded in response to a joint application submitted by Stephens, Franklin, Habersham and Hart counties.

The grant, Martin said, is designed to help communities prepare people to work in the manufacturing sector.

Martin said that would happen in several ways.

“It will identify needs, and it will identify solutions,” he said. “Today’s work force is rapidly evolving. There are techniques, skills and training that all need to take place to stay current, and this will allow us to follow up on those highest priorities and make them happen.”

The program will combine the efforts of cities, counties, public school systems and industries in the four counties.

Martin called it a great opportunity for the region.

“We are quite excited about the confidence both Gov. Perdue and Governor-elect Deal have placed in us,” he added. “We are excited that we can work with our existing industries, our local school systems, and colleges to make sure our work force is what it needs to be to make our community successful.”

The counties have 18 months to use the grant.

Anderson Independent

Stephens County receives Opportunity Zone Designation

An announcement from the state could provide another benefit for industries locating in some areas of Stephens County. Last week, Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin announced that the Georgia Department of Community Affairs granted Stephens County's request to name a number of industrial sites in the county as "opportunity zones." Martin said that is a significant tool to use when trying to draw new industries in.