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Leadership Effingham gives pair of project run-downs at ECCA

Leadership Effingham met at the Effingham College and Career Academy Thursday afternoon to hear two group project presentations from members.

The first group to present was the team of Kenny Burgstiner, Tony Chiarello, Chelsey McNicoll, Cindy Presnell, Jason Ripley and Ryan Waters. The topic of group one was “Effingham Young Professionals”, which would be a group of young professionals (under 40) in Effingham County who would meet, whether in the professional or casual setting, to enjoy fellowship.

“Having a young professional group can help a Chamber of Commerce appeal to a younger crowd,” Ryan Waters said. “A group focused on professionals under 40 can help appeal to fresh graduates and the younger side of the industry. It can also help younger professionals become more versed in community events and hence help them be better prepared for their job.”

Waters added that the group had spoken to community partners to gauge interest in the idea and that feedback on the Young Professionals group was positive.

“It would be nice to have an offering like this to attract and retain talent,” Waters said. “It’s a good idea as long as we stay with the vision and mission and are not competing with the Chamber of Commerce.”

The group gave numerous reasons to start a Young Professionals group, including networking, mentoring and career building.

The second group consisted of Elise Zielicke, Mandy Cooke, Shelby McInnis, Stephanie Johnson and Lisa Bush. Their topic was a Transportation Project for Effingham County.

“Our project goal is to assess the need for a public transportation service in Effingham County that will increase the accessibility, efficiency and resources for our residents,” Mandy Cooke said. “Our objectives are to have more resources available to Effingham County, to close the gap for those who don’t have personal transportation or cannot afford a taxi and to provide reliable transportation to medical appointments, employment opportunities and additional services.”

While there are already available services within the area, they are not exactly cost-effective. Uber and Lyft can be upwards of $40 since most of them are in the Savannah area and with no public transportation line in the community, only small groups like United Way and DFCS can handle the job.

The group concluded that after doing a survey, they found that those who rely on alternative means of transportation would like to see changes in the services available, including “better pick-up times and less time on the bus”, “people who know Effingham County” and “more options”.