The Annual Meeting of the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce was held Tuesday night at the Chattooga County Civic Center. Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters opened the program with a few remarks about the current state of the County. Winters briefly discussed the improvements made in the Chattooga County and the Trion Industrial parks. Winters remarked that we are within 30 days of any industry being able to move into the Chattooga County Park and that the Town of Trion is working hard to have their park ready for industry as soon as possible.

The keynote speaker at the event was Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Thurmond gave a rousing, encouraging speech in which he discussed the current efforts of the Department of Labor in helping Georgians who are seeking jobs and helping counties market the jobs and places for industry that they may have available. Thurmond stated that the Georgia Department of Labor was "preparing for common economic expansion." He also said of the Department’s efforts to help job seekers and industry that "when times are tough we go and stand in the gap." He stated of his Department that "they will be the first to arrive and the last to leave." Thurmond was very positive in his speaking about the current labor and economic situation in Georgia. His closing remarks stated that "I have faith in the American worker and in America. We will get through these times. Economies contract and economies expand."

Thurmond not only delivered a message of hope in tough economic times, he also delivered good news to the Chamber of Commerce. He said that his Department had been working to help Georgia Chambers out by providing a $25,000 grant that enables them to advertise their Industrial sites to industry and advertise for job openings, etc. He said the Chattooga Chamber would be a recipient of one of these grants.

After Thurmonds speech, Outgoing Chamber Chairman, Eddie Elsberry, presented the chairman’s award to Mr. Gene Espy. Elsberry thanked Espy for his involvement in Chattooga County and told that he had a great deal of respect for Mr. Espy and appreciated all of his civic endeavors.