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Sweetwater/Nolan County's FUTURE

I hope this finds each of you well and resting. As we look forward to the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, I "Thank You" for allowing SEED to be a part of the education process in Nolan County. Our connection to business and industry can assist the students in "real world" experiences. The Speakers Bureau and Senior Interview programs have been a good match for the ISD's and the business community. We are proud to be a part of those successful programs.

But can we do more? What would you like to see us participate in? new programs? new ways to further connect students to business & industry?

We know that one of the biggest issues facing businesses and their expansion opportunities is a qualified workforce. It's not just the technical training .... its the work ethics ... showing up to work - on time or at all ... the essential skills needed to be a productive part of society. We hear that it is the parents fault ... or the schools fault .... or its not my job to fix the problem.

Let's take this opportunity to take control of the issue and formulate a solution. Let's work together as a team to address and over time, find solutions for the training and employment issues we face every day.

I stand here today and admit I am part of the problem. Have I done enough? I can also say I can be part of the solution if we are willing to stand together to make a difference in the lives around us. We can longer point fingers and blame someone else. It is time we make a stand .... even if it is only in Nolan County! But wait, "Change" starts within ourselves. We must address our negative thoughts and fears. We must understand that at times we will feel uncomfortable in "Change".

As we are working on revamping our SEED website, my co-worker Larissa Place asked me what I thought about some of the proposed changes. I stated I didn't really like some of the stuff. We continued our conversation and she pointed out very politely that I am somewhat resistant to "Change". She is right, I freely talk about change but don't always embrace it.

I need your help in "Changing" our mindset of our community from the inside out. We need to find ways to "Change" the way we interact with students and potential employees. Maybe continuing to tell a generation they are "worthless" is not the best way to motivate them. In sports, we "Coach" and "motivate" players to be the best they can be. Why can't we "Coach" students to be the best they can be after academics, in their jobs and personal lives. I am not so naive to think its that simple or will be easy. But we must start somewhere ........ and I can't think of a better group to work with than the leadership found in Nolan County in our schools, our business & industry, our churches, and our volunteers.

Will you join me? Today is a pretty good day to start. Where will we be in 5 years .... I'm not sure. If we don't start, we will be 5 years worse off than we are today!