The Lower Savannah Council of Governments’ Workforce Development Board in Aiken recently received a 2013 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation for the GPS Your Career Destination Youth Forum.

More than 300 students in the Lower Savannah Region attended the Youth Forum. It featured speakers who encouraged youngsters to stay in school, seek post-secondary opportunities and become productive citizens.

The speakers included Dave Olson, then president and project manager of Savannah River Remediation; Brooks Harper, career development expert and author; Rose Rock, motivational speaker and mother of actor and comedian Chris Rock; and Jeff Archie, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at the SCE&G V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.

Sam Jordan, Lower Savannah Workforce Development administrator, said, “Winning this recognition is a testament to the true partnerships and collaboration that exists between the Lower Savannah Workforce Development Board’s Youth Council, the Regional Education Center, the three technical colleges in our region, Voorhees College in Denmark for hosting the event and all of the school districts throughout our region that provided transportation for their students to attend this event.”

Jordan also praised Youth Council chairperson and Aiken City Council member Lessie Price for her “vision, guidance and dynamic enthusiasm for assisting young people and their families do be successful and productive citizens.”

Lower Savannah Council of Governments serves Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties. The organization provides varied services including workforce, aging, community development, tourism and transportation/transit.

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies.

The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.