Dream Chaser Day teaches soft skills to local residents

Published 8:20 pm Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday was a day of new opportunities for residents of Troup County at the first Dream Chaser Day. The event included sessions that taught soft skills to community members in order for them to stand out when applying for jobs.

“For me, I have a chance (to meet) a lot of different people in a lot of different roles here, and I hear two stories. One story I hear is about all the great jobs and opportunity that we have. The other story that I hear is there’s no jobs, so this is a way to bridge that gap and the people who feel there’s not opportunity or not jobs,” said event co-organizer Curtis Brown Jr. “I think it’s really just a lack of confidence and a lack of the skills that are going to make them grab those opportunities and take hold of them. Hopefully this is a day that can provide that.”

Brown said about 45 people participated in the event and had breakout sessions on interview skills, resume preparation and time management. It also featured a professional dress fashion show and two keynote speakers, Viedra Sullivan and Mack and Ria Story.

Sullivan told attendants that getting a career means starting with any job.

“You have to know that you have to start somewhere,” Sullivan said. “That’s the biggest thing. You have to be willing to start somewhere.”

She also talked about self-actualization when it comes to reaching for where you want to be in life.

“If you don’t know where you are then it will be impossible to navigate where you want to go or where you want to be,” Sullivan said.

The event also had six groups for participants to network with, including West Georgia Technical College and Blessed Realty.

Brown said the event came about after co-organizer Teara Harris met him at a Racial Trustbuilding Initiative session.

“It’s an example of how relationships can form through that organization. I do communication work for them, so I’m involved in all the sessions that we have. Teara came through the class over the summer…This is a conversation that expanded from that,” Brown said.

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton told attendants that the event was a great opportunity especially since there is a lot of new job creation with the Great Wolf Lodge and other retail construction projects in the city.

“As Curtis alluded to, there are a lot of exciting things happening in LaGrange and Troup County. All you have to do is ride around any part of the community and you can see things happening from a physical standpoint,” Thornton said. “It’s important to me as mayor that when we bring new jobs and new job opportunities to the community, that those do get filled by our local residents. I hope this will be the first of many such events.”