Franklin Works celebrates its success

Kim Bodine

Kim Bodine, director of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board, left, and Jennifer German, deputy director, address the luncheon.

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM.

At a festive, grilled chicken luncheon Monday at the Holy Family Senior Center, participants in a series of jobs and training programs met to celebrate their success, and to signal the end of this infusion of this largely federally-assisted funding.

“We are here today to acknowledge, show our appreciation and celebrate the assistance that the various public and private entities rendered Franklin County during what could have escalated into the worst economic disaster in local history,” said Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson. “Given local economic conditions at the time, followed by the collapse of the oyster industry, your swift response averted a fiscal crisis beyond measure throughout the Franklin County community.”

Joe Taylor, director of Franklin’s Promise Coalition, Inc., emceed the event, which featured remarks from a series of participants in an array of programs, anchored by a multi-million dollar national emergency grant that has funded the ongoing shelling program as well as a variety of other training programs.

“Although this occasion certainly warrants such a celebration, it is also a bittersweet moment, as it signals the end of the temporary jobs program put into place to help stabilize the local economy, which also lifted spirits and renewed hope throughout the Franklin County community,” said Johnson. “However, left to linger in its path and perhaps most importantly and more lasting are the partnerships, collaborations and friendships established along the way by and between your agencies.

“Through your efforts, support and financial contributions - workers have been retrained and placed into permanent job situations and adults long out of high school have fulfilled their dreams of obtaining a high school diploma,” said the mayor.

Johnson thanked the five main pillars of what has become known as “Franklin Works,” the largest of which is the Gulf Coast Workforce Board (GCWB), which has administered the federal dollars.

“This is so humbling for us to be thanked by so many people,” said Kim Bodine, director of GCWB. “It has been an awesome project for us. I do believe this is just the beginning.”

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